Seeing Death- or, the Psychic Ability to See or Sense Death


When I was a kid I was obsessed with fairy tales and mythology. My public library was a wonderful resource of Greek mythology in particular, and I spent countless hours reading and identifying with the themes contained within.

In a lesser known fairy tale (I believe it is German), Death becomes Godfather to a small boy. His father had many children and wanted his child to have Death as a Godfather because he was fair… and could help his son to become a famous physician. As is the case in most fairy tales, the child grows up and eventually deceives Death several times, resulting in him being taken to the Underworld and being shown the candles of each person alive. How much was left on that candle was how long the person had left to live, and Death ends up snuffing out the candle of his godchild to teach him a lesson.

For years after reading that fairy tale I looked at people and could see or sense that candle. How much light that person had, what sort of spark they had… When I got older, I could actually see the fire, the flame.

Although I realize this sounds a bit odd, what I was realizing at that early age was basically how much energy or life force the person had within them. The difficulty with this is that there was no way to sort of test my understandings or what I was seeing. It is also true that with modern medicine that someone can have their life prolonged far beyond their “candle” being near its end. When I worked in hospice I saw this quite often. There also was that inevitable “spark” near the end when the candle is nearing the end of the wick.

I also saw when I worked with depressed patients that it would appear that their candle was near its end, although it was not– it was more like there were clouds and smoke and candle wax covering the flame so that it couldn’t burn quite right.

When I started doing psychopomp and Spirit Release work more heavily, I found that I was having trouble adjusting to the work. Not because of the nature of the work, really… but because when I completely immersed myself in the dead and the spirit realms that I had trouble adjusting to the living. I have a tendency to become really immersed in what I am doing and what I am learning for a period of time, which for working with spirits can be quite unhealthy. It took me quite a while to find balance with the work, and to learn how to have both a “regular” life as well as a “spiritual” life (yes, they are the same, but I need to go out to movies and go to the grocery store and if you are immersed in death-type energies that can be difficult).

But one of the oddest things about this time period is that I began to see death masks in people. This only happened to me in flashes, and I know that some people have this ability consistently (and mine flickers) but I began to occasionally see the death masks in people, as well as the possibility of them passing. This would be like a quick flash when I would look at the face of someone. The “death mask” is essentially what a person will look like when they pass– how their face would look, basically, in a state of death.

I do realize that this sounds morbid to probably quite a few of you reading, but it just puzzled me when it happened. A Spiritual Teacher I was working with told me about death masks, which helped with the confusion, but it did not answer the “how” or “why” it happened. Especially because this was not (and is not) a dominant ability of mine. This ability has since waned since I no longer work in hospice and have a bit more balance in my life (I am thankful for this, actually), but I have now worked with a few people who see this on a more consistent basis than I do or have.

Even more commonly people can see or sense death.

This can be the archetypal “Death” figure, Grim Reapers, and other beings/spirits/animals (such as vultures and crows) associated with Death. Because we live culturally in such a fear of death having a spirit guide that has to do with death tends to be rejected by people (even though we are in dire need of people who can work in realms such as this) and it is extraordinarily rare with such a focus on “lightwork” that people want to consider anything such as working spiritually with death.

On the other hand, there are people that tend to be a bit obsessed spiritually with death. Not because it really calls them but because it is “edgy” or different. There will always be people who want to shock– we actually need them in our culture.

There are also “lightworkers” who talk about death and death practices but make up all sorts of puritanical and odd rules about it which is not really that helpful to anyone. The subject of death, or our own personal death, still creates a lot of fear of the unknown in people, so a fair amount of the new-age movement is either focused on creating a lot of illusion about death and how wonderful it is because the person writing about it knows everything about what will happen when we die (my cardinal one rule for spotting a fake teacher is basically them saying they know everything about a specific spiritual subject… no matter how much we have explored we only know so much, and will realize that if we truly are exploring spiritual realms rather than trying to make ourselves feel better)… or they will come up with practices that make us “immortal”. Sometimes the same teacher does both, which I always find interesting. They state that we are not supposed to fear death, and move into it consciously, and then in the next breath will talk about how we can become immortal.

But anyway, there are others out there that can see and sense death. Either as a sort of sudden realization when looking at random people, in dreams, or seeing images like a filmstrip of the passing of others… either specific individuals or dreams or realizations about natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and so forth.

This can naturally be quite disconcerting for people, because it tends to happen randomly. This ability seemingly is not something that can be “trained” like most abilities, and there can be a few reasons why people have it.

  • Like myself, they can be naturally highly sensitive and be immersed in spiritual practices that allow this ability to arise
  • It can be a natural result of being sensitive/psychic and having death as a trigger– basically someone in your family has died, or you have come into contact with death fairly regularly and begin to see this. I talked about this with a hospice nurse once who was not terribly psychic but she sometimes saw death masks in people
  • It can be a call towards “dark” work– meaning doing psychopomp work, healing work- such as hospice or working with death in some way, work with nature, work with spirits
  • It can be a one-time occurrence associated with being in a sort of liminal space when a relative/family member passes or is going to pass
  • It can also be a one-time occurrence if you are in a sort of weird state where you are processing a lot of shadow-type work

So for this ability generally I am not talking about one-time occurrences. Sometimes I get emails from people stating that they knew that their (insert family member/friend/pet here) was going to die and when once, and they are wondering what it means. If you study the energetics of death and dying anyone who is sensitive will sense about two weeks before someone is going to pass that their time may be close. Other people who are more sensitive might even have an understanding of when and where. This is true especially for someone that is close to you, and is often a random one (or possibly two) time occurrence for people.

What I am talking about here really is an aspect of clairvoyance that is specifically focused on seeing death… with an aspect of precognition thrown in (which tends to be a clairvoyant faculty).

It is the looking at people in a supermarket and being able to sense that they will be in a motorcycle accident soon. It is the seeing of the “death mask” of people randomly on the subway. It is looking at that candle in someone and realizing that it is a bright flame or that it is near the end of its cycle.

It is an ability that tends to come and go and can be troubling and difficult for the experiencer. It can be a sense of knowing (claircognition) but is, when it comes through strongly, a faculty of precognitive clairvoyant faculties.

There can be training and skills that can be developed for those of you that experience it, in some regards. Even though it can be quite random there is at least understanding to be had.

But more than that there is peace that can be experienced through this ability. Death is really one of the (if not the) greatest fears that we have individually and culturally. It holds us back in a lot of ways. People who experience this can transcend this fear of death. Most people who have this ability tend to freak out (and rightfully so, even if it just has happened once) and close down this capacity, but it really can be understood and is an opportunity for the individual to release one of the biggest fears that most of us have.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are interested in working with psychic abilities, I suggest my book, Managing Psychic Abilities. I do not answer emails unless they are about my books or programs.

Ethics in Mediumship and Channeling

Although typically in my blog I make a specific point to not call out individuals, there is on ongoing trend in modern psychic communities to “channel” famous (or not-so-famous) historical figures, politicians, and people from the recent or not-so-distant past.

Although I have met some and worked with some incredible channels in my day, and very much believe in the phenomena due to direct experience, I very much doubt the validity of many of these channels. There are also considerable ethical issues with many of them who choose to “channel” anyone from Hitler to former POW’s to children or others who have been caught in a natural disaster.

If you are channeling something/someone from Galaxica 5 (yes, I made this up) you can choose to believe them or their message. They do not have friends, family, loved ones, and people who have been affected by their stories or their lives. But when you are claiming to channel Hitler, for example, and claiming that he is now all “love and light” and filled with compassion and understanding complete with messages for the universe about the “positive effects” he had due to what he perpetrated on earth, it is obnoxious. More than that, it is morally wrong.

The dead are not different than us, especially if they are still at a point where they are retaining their individual identities. When we die we retain many of the same qualities that we had on Earth. Any real medium or spiritual worker that I have met agrees with this point. If we died and were a 17 year old high school drop-out drug addict, we are not going to start quoting Osho. If we cling to material possessions and/or a religious fervor in life, we are like that in death. There is this grand illusion that once we die, perpetrated by common religious systems, that we all turn into love and light and can tell our loved ones about the depths of the universe.

It is understandable we want to believe this. Death is scary to most of us… life is scary to  most of us… and if we believe that there are people who can and do get messages from even the most difficult, despicable, souls, or the souls that have had the hardest life on earth that are all about forgiveness, light, and love, that makes us a bit less afraid about our own inevitable death.

If we are “channeling” messages from a loved one who is hearing multiple apologies and exactly what they need to hear in their grief-stricken state from their dead loved one, it is likely that they are deeply traumatized and have disassociated from the experience due to trauma that was too overwhelming, cultivating a sub-personality or it is something that is self-created to tell them exactly what they need to hear in that overwhelmed, grief-stricken state.

This is how most “mediums” and “channels” operate. They rarely have real abilities. The catch to this is that most of the people who go to mediums to talk to their loved ones do not really want to actually hear from their loved ones. They want a story constructed of forgiveness, of love, and of how they are safe and in a wonderful place. I have mixed feelings about this, because many of these stories can create comfort for the loved on who desperately needs to hear that their deceased loved one has forgiven them, has moved on, and is full of love and light. This illusion can be deeply comforting, healing, and exactly what the living need to hear to reconcile part of their grief.

But it is not actual mediumship or channeling. When a deceased loved one actually appears, they are likely to give specific messages that only the person seeking them can relate to, have the same personality in death as they did in life, and may actually need something from the medium or their loved ones in order to cross over. Real mediumship can be quite difficult, and often is not filled with the sort of awe-encompassing messages that we see from mediums on tv or in the media. This is because we really want that illusion of our loved ones suddenly being Einstein, and even the most difficult lives being transformed into utter bliss. Death is certainly freeing, but if we work through our fears about it and our needs for it to be a certain way, we will be more comfortable without the often elaborate illusions that we have set for ourselves about it and that are perpetrated by other “mediums” and “channels” that prey on our fears and needs… and often their own delusions and psychological needs relating to the same fears.

But let us also talk more about the ethics of this. Even if you are channeling a famous murder victim, Hitler, your own child, or someone on the news, why are you not questioning yourself as to the veracity of this information? Why are you so important that this information needs to get out to popular media? Why should this equal you having a Youtube channel, a book, or telling hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people about this? 

Unless you are an extremely advanced channel or medium (this is extraordinarily rare) you cannot know without question that what and who you are channeling is 100 percent accurate. Everything that is channeled is filtered through our own beliefs, our own illusions, and our own needs. If we see a news report about a famous person who has just died and who is all over the news and suddenly we are “channeling them” ethically we need to question if we are right, if we are valid, and if we are just in this information getting out there, whether it is real or not. Because if this information does get out there, the situation becomes energetically focused on us… instead of who it should be… the deceased, their family, and their loved ones.

Also, when someone channels someone who has affected many lives, are those lives considered at all when the “channel” is relating messages? We live real, physical lives on Earth… complete with emotions, relationships, and personal and cultural histories. When someone is claiming to channel a famous veteran who was killed in combat, they are often not considering anyone other than themselves. They certainly are not considering if the friends, family, and those affected would be open or need to hear this type of information. It is also interesting that many of these “channels” never channel anything that has not been on national news or is part of our national history. They channel controversial and popular figures to build up notoriety. Most real channels I have met channel a specific person or group. Most real mediums I have met encounter thousands of dead people on a daily if not weekly basis, many of whom nobody has heard of.

It is always funny to me that when people relate “past lives” that they are always someone like Cleopatra, when they have a “spirit guide” it is always Native American, and when they “channel” it is always someone well known. If we consider this logically, there are millions of spirits and past incarnations out there. Many channels and mediums (that I do not have doubts about) work with a variety of beings, energies, and spirits of all sorts. Most real channels and mediums are they types to ethically consider the ramifications of their work, the energetics of their work, and the veracity of their work. They have enough energetic and spiritual awareness and sensitivity to constantly question themselves, to question if what and who they are working with is real (vs. something they have self-created due to seeing a news report or their own needs or wants for notoriety, from trauma or personal emotional needs), and what the impact of relating specific information will be like to a general public that does not have the spiritual abilities or awareness that they have cultivated. Basically, if they do channel Hitler, they will likely shut up about it (and seriously- Hitler?)

It is important for all of us to question what we see popularized in media, social networks, and in literature when people claim spiritual experiences or to have spiritual abilities. Is what they are saying logical? Does it hit our personal “gut instinct” as being right and true? Could there be other underlying reasons why this person is claiming that they are channeling something? These are all questions that we need to consider. The spiritual is not illogical.

Let us also consider our own needs and issues when we want to go to a medium or channel (or listen to them, buy their books, etc). Do we really need to believe what they are saying? Why? Do we acknowledge our own fear of death? What would happen if we let go of that fear or worked through it? What would happen if we let go of our cosmology (just even a little bit) that is based out of fear and a real need for anyone in death to become suddenly much more intelligent, capable, spiritual, eloquent, kind, filled with love, and more beautiful?

If we look at the channel or medium it is also true that if we are in any way sensitive we will notice a palpable change in them when they are channeling. If you are able to view them are they filled with a different sort of energy than before? Are their facial features different? Is their personality different? No matter what type of medium (some people are more physical than others) and no matter what they are channeling or bringing across, there will be some sort of noticeable, palpable change in them… one that also when we check in with our gut instinct (our inherent sense of knowing) seems real and not contrived.

There are real mediums and channels out there. There are sensitives of all sorts, people with psychic abilities of all sorts. When I begin to talk about problems that appear in communities like this, it is natural for people who want to believe in anything and everything to say that I am not a believer, or am angry, or I don’t understand. These are all common ways to not process or consider what I am saying because you do not wish to or are not ready to. I get that, and people are where they are. This is also a complex issues, as I do not think that the “fake” mediums out there who tell loved ones that their family member is charming and safe and forgives them (or whatever else the family member needs to hear) are creating more harm than good. It can be deeply healing to hear from someone with purported psychic abilities that their loved one is healed, healthy, and filled with love and forgiveness.

But the point remains that we need to consider, in a logical manner, what is real and what is creating more illusion. What we want to believe based on our own trauma and psychology and what would happen to that belief if we healed that trauma. What would happen if we healed our fear of death? What would happen if we approached spiritual work and spiritual experiences as logically as we did going to the grocery store or doing our laundry? 

If we are a medium or channel, considering what we need to hear and what we may be self-creating vs. what is actually coming through is of vital importance. We may really need to hear that nothing and nobody is evil and that Hitler is picking posies in a field somewhere filled with love and compassion. That is likely our own stuff and our own needs for the universe creating illusions. More than that, we need to consider the ethics of what we relate to the general public. If we are “channeling” a well-known celebrity or person that has met a tragic death recently on the news, are we relating this to be of service? Or are we doing this to add to our own notoriety or needs for attention? There is no such thing as 100 percent trusting anything that is coming across to us. We can be fairly certain, but as sensitives, even if we see a giant neon sign about the head of someone that says CANCER!!!!! it could be a metaphorical cancer, it could be actual cancer, it could be something that we need to be paying attention to in ourselves. The point is that we can never be 100 percent sure. Everything is filtered through our own perceptions, and ethically we need to consider that, and consider the effects of the information we relay in the “mundane” (our ordinary reality- the one we all live in) before we relay it.

Spiritual Bathing: The Basics

One of the tools that I recommend most to my patients who are energetically sensitive in any way is spiritual bathing. Although it sound a bit trite to say (and to read I am sure) the practice of spiritual bathing has completely turned my life around. I used to be consistently exhausted, overwhelmed, and felt ill consistently (with illness that nobody could figure out) due to the amount of spiritual stimulus that was around me. This was despite knowing how to ward (protect myself and my home), how to clear my space, having proper boundaries, claiming my body, working through my traumas and illusions, and doing all of the multitude of practices that have helped me to become whole, given me power, and facilitated understanding on a rather deep level.

Despite all of this I still was overwhelmed because of my sensitivities. I could ward, banish, clear, cultivate my light and compassion and do everything “right” and because I was so sensitive I still was overloaded from seeing too much, from sensing too much, and from feeling the effects of the amount of energies attracted to me and just simply that surround me.

Spiritual bathing comes from pretty much every culture on the planet. It is mentioned in the Bible, it is mentioned in most forms of folk practices and magic from Greece to China to Africa. At its simplest, spiritual bathing is just as it sounds. It is bathing in herbs and minerals for a specific purpose. 

Spiritual bathing can be done for anything. It can be done to clear energy from you (or from inside of you), release emotions/trauma, clear blocks, bring in new opportunities and money, engender romance, for fertility, for protection, sealing of the energies around you, and simply for relaxation.

The prescribing of specific herbs and minerals for spiritual bathing should be done by an experienced root worker, root doctor, or folk practitioner who understands the spiritual properties of specific herbs and minerals and who can come up with an exact prescription of what ingredients you should use to help your exact situation.  (Yes, I do this, and it is often part of the “homework” I give people after a spiritual healing session)

That being said, there are basic ingredients that we can all utilize that are wonderful for most of us to gain the benefits of spiritual bathing. I have included a few of my basic, favorite baths below, and then will tell you how spiritual bathing is done.

Clearing and Releasing Baths
My favorite “basic” bath is a salt bath. This can be as simple as getting dead sea salts or Epsom salts, putting a cup in the bathtub, and soaking in it, with the intent that anything that is not yours and/or anything that wants to clear, can do so.

One of my other favorite baths is with coconut. Ideally you would get a whole coconut, drill three holes in it, put the coconut water in the tub and again intend that anything that is not yours will clear. In some Caribbean traditions you would then fill up the coconut with the dirty bath water (it doesn’t have to be a lot) and release the coconut into the sea or ocean, or at the very least crack it by some sort of body of water to signify that the old energy is leaving and that new energy can come in.

Nurturing and Romance
Goats Milk 
is both mildly clearing as well as deeply nurturing, and is a part of many prescriptions for fertility. The addition of rose petals can nurture as well as allow for a woman to feel romantic about her male partner, or lavender is classically used for women who wish to feel romantic about their female partner.

Any of the clearing herbs can certainly help with protection, but the addition of rosemary will help women to feel protected, especially women who have children. Rue is an herb that is specific to clear negativity and to protect you from negative energy sent from others.

Clearing Jinxes and Crossed Conditions, Starting Anew
Some spiritual situations are incredibly complex or more serious than simply taking a salt bath. Herbs like hyssop combined with agrimony and rue are an excellent place to start. This is a simple prescription for those who have had any sort of magic done against them, or who are spiritual workers to ensure any negativity or backlash has been cleared. Parsley is often used to banish or clear more difficult spirits or energies from us (temporarily, but effectively).

For complex situations (yes I am repeating myself) an individualized prescription is often necessary. Spiritual bathing can be a simple way to work with a variety of situations– from simply creating a fresh start for ourselves, for general release and clearing or “blockbusting”… to specific or difficult situations such as spirit release, undoing the work of others against us (or our subconscious work against ourselves)… to engendering romance, fertility, protection, and better finances and general flow in our lives.

How Spiritual Bathing works
You will simply gather your ingredients. For loose herbs (either dried or fresh) so you do not mess up your bathtub you have two choices:

  1. Put the herb in a large bowl, bring up some water to a boil, and cover the herb with the water and let it steep. When it gets dark/infused, strain it, bring the water portion up to the bath and pour it in with the rest of the water.
  2. Get an empty teabag or cheesecloth and put the herb in. Then put it in the hot water of your bath and let it steep a bit.

For salt you can simply put a cup or two into the bottom of your bathtub. For the coconut you would drill the holes before getting in the bathtub, and simply bring it in the bath with you.

There is no set amount for ingredients, but like a loose leaf tea, you want there to be enough of an impact that the water changes color, that you can smell the herbs, and that you can sense their presence while bathing. There is no set amount for ingredients– meaning that you may choose to take a salt and rosemary bath, or a goats milk and rose petal bath. Or even a salt, hyssop, agrimony, parsley, and rue bath to hedge your bets. With combining ingredients you want to ensure that you are not canceling one out, or adding too many purposes to one bath. You would not want to take a clearing bath and a romance bath at the same time, for example. You would take the clearing bath and then on a separate day take the romance bath. Unless you know what you are doing, simple is often best. A simple salt bath can make a world of difference to someone who is sensitive if done regularly.

How often do I do this?
I suggest to most people that they do a spiritual cleansing bath once a week. Again this can be a simple salt bath.

What do I do?
After gathering the ingredients and putting them in the bath, you will get in the bath. You will state your intent (this bath will clear any negativity, any energy that is not mine, allow for me to move forward in my life, clear any energies/entities, protect me, etc). You may choose to call in a spiritual guide before getting into the bath or utilize source energy/reiki to bring extra energy and intent into the bath as well. Often this is really not necessary, however.

You will then get into the bath and basically take a bath. There are many different cultures who do spiritual bathing and some of them utilize cups (for example) to take the bath water and pour it over the head, letting it run down to the feet.

Many of the directions for spiritual bathing were created in cultures before there were bathtubs, or when they were quite expensive, so I suggest to most people to simply immerse themselves in the bath after stating their intent and allow for the bathwater to be poured or streamed over you head to feet for clearing purposes… and feet to head for anything you want to gain (protection, romance, money, for example). This can be as simple as cupping your hands and pouring a bit over the top of your head and then gently sweeping your body in a downward fashion until you reach your feet.

You then get out of the bath. Like I said, a simple salt bath is often quite effective (just pouring in some salt, sitting in it and saying your intent of clearing, and then getting out). I find that the ritualization of spiritual bathing (or the “classical” rootwork methods) to be quite effective. These are not absolutely necessary, but if you are dealing with a lot of negativity or struggle or you think someone is working against you are something is attached to you, I do suggest doing the ritual in full.

The full ritual:
In rootwork, the bath is often taken at or just before dawn. A portion of the bathwater is saved. You would get out of the tub and air dry. Some people like to step out of the tub between two white candles that are lit to signify that a fresh start is being made. I do find that it is a lovely way to do things.

You would then get dressed, put any clothes you were wearing in the laundry, and bring the portion of the bathwater that you saved to a crossroads (basically where any road intersects with another road). You would then dump out the bathwater you saved over your left shoulder and go back home, taking a different route than you took on the way there. You would not look back at the crossroad that you dumped the water at.

The modified ritual:
Most people who are not in severe situations, or who are willing to make spiritual bathing a routine (as in once or twice a week, or once a week and whenever they are feeling “off”) that they will stick to will do a modified ritual.

You would bathe the same way, collect a portion of the bathwater, step out between the two candles, and then drop the bath water off at a crossroads, in a brook or stream, or ask permission of a tree or other natural object to mulch or dispose of the water for you.

The modified ritual cuts out the air drying, the timing portion, and the ritual of the crossroads (at least to the extent of not needing to do it at dawn, pouring over left shoulder, etc).

A simple bath:
Like I mentioned, most people could really just use a salt bath. Just put the salt in the tub, get in and state your intent, and soak for 10-20 minutes or so.

This cuts out need for downward motion for clearing, collecting bath water, timing, ritual aspects, etc. But even doing a simple salt bath once a week, if done regularly, can clear a lot of energy.

It sounds so simple, but often the simple things are the most effective… we just really want things to be complex because our minds think they will work better. When I began spiritual bathing I didn’t know much about the spiritual properties of herbs and did a salt bath (simple version) once a night for seven nights. My health immediately improved, my fatigue lessened, my energetic space became clearer and clearer. I do realize as a clinician that salt baths also contain a lot of magnesium and minerals that are highly effective, but the effect of not having so much energetic “junk” around me even with the simple bath was astonishing to me. The gradual addition of herbs to help clear, protect, banish, or break through negativity, to nourish, or to bring certain elements to my life as well as the ritualized, classical aspects of it has had an astronomical impact on my life and on my practice.

If you are looking to begin a practice of spiritual bathing, you can contact me for a reading or appointment. Like I mentioned, these are the very, very basics of doing these practices, and with the right prescription the results can be really beautiful. But the practices mentioned are an excellent start at integrating spiritual bathing into your life.


Thoughts on Clearing Spirits and Energies

One of the more common beginner responses to noticing a spirit, being, or other energy in your space is to fear it and want to clear it. Many of us are asleep to the extent that we do not notice that the spiritual is all around us. It is not separate from us. We are constantly surrounded by spirits, beings and other energies.

When we notice anything not physical, as in something outside of the realm of being commonly noticed, the first response is typically to go into controlling and assault mode. We sage and clear and clean until we feel safe again. Or, basically, until we no longer notice it. This allows for us to feel in control of our surroundings, this allows us to feel safe. It allows for us to perpetuate the myth that the spiritual is somehow “out there” and we need to do shamanic journeys or meditate or work to access it… and that when it accesses us it is something to clear and fear.

The truth of the matter is that we are constantly surrounded by energies, by spirits, by emotions and grids and thoughtforms… by the history of the place we are in, by the elements that surround us. Due to a lack of spiritual understanding of death rites there are many spirits around us all. Most of us simply are not sensitive enough to notice anything that is not concrete, and beyond that our egos and belief systems get in the way so we further fall into a state of illusion and not-seeing. Most people, in fact, when they clear don’t do it appropriately and simply fall into a state of illusion that the spirit is gone, or that they have cleared their home.

Instead of reacting to anything not physical, or possibly spirit-oriented as being something to “fear and clear”, learning about what surrounds you and the understanding level to know what to do, if anything, about the situation, is the best thing to do in situations like this. There are plenty of spirits that wish no harm. They just are there. We happen to simply occupy space with them. There are also imprints of the past we think are conscious spirits. There are also ancestors, guides, and all sorts of spirits and beings that are helpful and can be teachers to us. And yes, there are harmful spirits, but they are fairly rare.

Simply because you notice a spirit in your space does not mean you need to clear it. Plenty of people do not mind occupying the same space as a spirit as long as there are ground rules. People can reach the understanding level to know if a spirit is something that is helpful, not helpful, or simply happens to be there. People can learn the tools to know how to respectfully work with the unseen, the spirit world, with openness, respect, and know-how. Simply because we see something outside of ourselves that we cannot control we do not need to go into “fear and clear” mode. By learning how to successfully work with spirits we can move beyond that, and open ourselves to seeing more of what is actually around us. We can move beyond the state of willful ignorance, fear, and wish to control everything around us. Even the most advanced sensitive can never truly know everything around them, but when you approach the spiritual world as simply flowing through the physical world, as part of it, instead of something to fear or going into a state of spiritual bypass where you think spiritual things are somehow separate or different than our physical world, you can open up to knowing more about the spiritual world and how to work with it properly.

Mary assists sensitives, psychics, and people undergoing spiritual awakenings to learn how to work with their abilities and experiences. You can contact her here with questions about readings, programs, and individual appointments.

Why Am I Psychic?

One of the most common questions that I get from people is why they are psychic or sensitive.

When I first began looking at my own sensitivities I found that most of the material out there was for people who wanted to be psychic or wanted to be more sensitive. Most of the movies and television shows that are on television presented psychic abilities and sensitives as people who could solve crimes, tap into the wonders of the universe, and created an understanding in every-day “normal” society that having these abilities would be wonderful. This created a whole slew of psychic schools, books, and workshops for the millions of people out there who were not (or were minimally) psychic or sensitive to learn how to increase their sensitivities and become psychic in 6 easy steps. Today, this is still a million dollar industry and is still 99 percent of material that is out there on psychic abilities.

For people who are naturally psychic or sensitive their abilities often feel like a curse rather than a gift. They do not want to be psychic in 6 easy steps… they already are psychic and sensitive and it is causing issues in their lives. They do not understand their abilities, what is happening to them, or why they are the way they are. It is common for psychics and sensitives to be unable to find an appropriate teacher or information since the vast majority of information is for the not-so-sensitive to become sensitive, and the teachers of many psychic schools are simply graduates of said schools who may have little understanding of how actual, natural psychic abilities manifest or the appropriate tools to create boundaries and control already manifested abilities.

A few words before I go on… I think that it is wonderful if people want to become more sensitive, more aware of their surroundings and themselves. Books, schools, workshops that cater to this group allow for you to do so. However, in my years of helping people with natural psychic abilities the isolation, physical issues, fears, and strong nature of the spiritual experiences they are going through do not fit with the material produced by the “develop your psychic abilities” crowd and can actually be harmful to people with natural abilities. People with natural abilities do not need to become more sensitive- they need boundaries, safety, understanding, and tools to work with the abilities and sensitivities they already have.

So let us get on with the reason why you are reading this post… There are four reasons that people are naturally psychic and sensitive:

1. It is hereditary.
These are typically people who manifest the strongest abilities. Basically, someone or several people in your family history have psychic abilities. Some people have knowledge of this, but in many family histories the person with psychic abilities is relegated to the strange aunt that nobody talks about. It is typical for people who I talk to dealing with strong, hereditary based psychic abilities to have several generations of family members who were psychic, all of whom may or may not want to admit or know how to deal with their abilities. Sometimes people are quite lucky and have a grandmother or other family member who can teach them how to work with their abilities. This is ideal, because psychic abilities present very differently person to person, but manifest rather similarly in family members.

2. It is a result of traumaOur childhoods have a huge impact on how we see the world. People who have endured severe or moderate childhood abuse and trauma are more sensitive. This is because of basic biological imperative. When you were a child you had to notice more, see more, hear more, feel more… because it allowed for you to survive a difficult situation that you could not get out of. When we are under periods of stress, our nervous systems activate as well, creating the ability to become more sensitive to the world around us. Others in this category include some with enduring trauma over a long period of time (war, for example)  but most in this category were from early childhood, where we are developing our base understandings and way of being in the world. Occasionally sudden trauma, such as from a Near-Death experience, or other experience with a sudden expansion of understanding, can be in this category as well.

3. It was meant to happen
This can be a difficult category to talk about. Some people were meant to be more sensitive or psychic for whatever reason this lifetime. This category is less prevalent than the first two, but is something that I have run across. For many this is seemingly for the job they were destined to do- meaning that there are sensitives that are great dancers, writers, painters, teachers, healers, social workers, etc. who are meant to bring their abilities to a certain portion of the world at a specific time.

4. Other/Ancestors/Mixed
It is quite common for someone to have a mixture of the above categories. Someone who has natural psychic abilities in their family line suffers in early childhood because their father who has empathic abilities and did not know how to work with all of the emotions coming in decided to get angry or drink, for example. There are rare examples of past lives creating psychic abilities, although this can usually be traced to one of the other categories. There are also (much like a mixture of the trauma and natural abilities category) many examples of severe trauma happening somewhere in the ancestral line starting psychic abilities and sensitivities. Descendants of wars, genocides, and from countries that are repeatedly torn apart from politics and other upheavals can have an original trigger of nervous system activation, and sensitivities that were created to keep the original ancestor in a state of alertness and readiness to respond appropriately to difficult situations being passed through generations can actually be quite common.

The last reason that people develop psychic abilities is that they are going through a spiritual awakening. Psychic abilities naturally begin to get stronger the more you are awake, and more abilities awaken the closer you are towards being fully awake. It is part of the path, and traditionally people strived for siddhis (or essentially psychic abilities or tricks that could show people how spiritual you were) to amass followers and show how far down the spiritual path they were. It is not the end of the path, though, and is easy for people to get wrapped up in developing psychic abilities or allow for these abilities to feed the ego rather than go further to a truly awakened state.

If you would like to understand and know how to work with your psychic abilities, I suggest my book, Managing Psychic Abilities  (by Mary Mueller Shutan)