I had dinner with a new friend last night who was curious about my work. I’m never quite sure how to describe my profession (am I a psychic? a medium? an energy channel? a shaman?). One dear friend calls me the “magical unicorn” but this still doesn’t fully describe (beyond a delicious feeling) the work. I tend to think of myself as a ‘medicine woman’ but that also does not describe the Excavation process. So I set about explaining that I plug into a client’s energy field and identify what needs to be revealed and released for their highest good and healing. She looked somewhat flummoxed, so I tried again, describing the energy I might come across during a session, such as a stuck childhood memory or trauma, the details of a family relationship, messages from angels or deceased loved ones…
“That’s creepy!” she said.
This response truly surprised me since I don’t think they are creepy at all —we certainly had a different perception of dead people. I think this is typical. Many people are afraid of ghosts and things that bump in the night. The first time I saw a physical apparition, when I was about 12, I definitely hid under the covers (although what a blanket was going to do to protect me, I don’t know!). It seems the main thing that people are afraid of is the unknown. We don’t have a lot of support in our culture to understand dying, the soul, and ‘dead people.’ We aren’t taught much about the next energy field and how it all might work. I grew up in a liberal christian church that talked about ‘heaven’ and ‘the soul’. Somehow, the soul migrated to a place called heaven, which was, I assumed, somewhere up in the sky amid pink clouds. Beyond that, I didn’t really get it, and I was as afraid as anyone about dying and no longer having my body.
My father’s opinion was that when we die, we live in the hearts and memories of the ones left behind. He also said we live in the plants that take root in the decomposition of our bodies. Soul? Not so much. “I just don’t know, Lizzy. Now how about we watch some baseball?”
There weren’t a lot of people I could talk to about this stuff, and when I tried to explain the apparitions that appeared in my bedroom doorway at night (I assume looking for some assistance that I wasn’t capable of offering at that time), I was told I had a wonderful, vivid imagination. I was told that highly creative people are more likely to have hypnogogic hallucinations. So, I watched a lot of scary movies and read tons of books about ghosts hoping to find some answers. They mostly scared me and I felt more confused than ever about this stuff. I took courage in the fact that the church I went to every Sunday talked about the holy ghost and I listened with keen interest to the story of Jesus’ death and his subsequent (ghostly?) appearances around Jerusalem.
I suppose I spent a lot of time in those days being scared of ghosts and dead people. Mass media isn’t exactly level-headed when it comes to the topic (hello, “Poltergeist,” “The Shining,” “The Entity,” “Ghost Story,” etc etc!). I had many ghostly visitations through my life and was intrigued, but unnerved too, just like most everyone in our society. But then I started actually communicating with them and understanding they’re just people. People without bodies, but people all the same.
In the Excavation work I do, almost all of the ‘dead people’ I talk to are souls who have made the appropriate transition to the next energy field and are simply stopping in to say hello to their loved one. It is very much like calling someone on the phone. You can’t see them, but you can hear them quite well — if the connection is good! — and can certainly receive their messages of love and conveyance of other information. Not scary at all. In fact, these communications tend to be incredibly comforting and healing.
I have a personal practice of service to souls who are trapped in this energy field. In shamanism, this is called ‘psychopomp’ (isn’t that a great word!), and it is a technique of lovingly and respectfully offering help to those who, for whatever reason, didn’t transition properly. These people tend to be confused. They may not know they are dead, or they may feel that they have something left to do here. Some may have died in an accident or via drug overdose and are still in shock from the experience. Some may have committed suicide and are now afraid to face the consequences taught to them (inaccurately) by their religions, so they stay here instead.
In psychopomp, the shaman offers help, “hey, I see you look confused. I can help you get to where you’ll be more comfortable. Would you like some assistance?” Ninety percent of souls are more than happy to accept the help, and the shaman ushers them to the next field, to the destination of human souls. About ten percent of souls aren’t ready to make the journey (for whatever reason). In these cases, I always tell the soul I will be back to check on them again sometime in the future. Most of the souls are ready to transition upon the second contact. It just takes time sometimes.
Human souls are humans. They look like people. For the most part, they act like people. They can’t possess the living. They can’t do damage to the living. They might inadvertently scare or startle a living person, but it’s not their intention (despite what you may have seen in the movies!). It is startling to suddenly be joined by an apparition, even if all they’re trying to do is say hello or ask for help. I think often our culture confuses Dark Energies (what might also be known as entities, demons, elementals, or vampires) with stuck human souls (aka ghosts). Dark Energies are a topic for another article, but suffice it to say, Dark Energies are rare and are only attracted to living humans who beckon them through negative practices. A person steeped in love, living in joy and gratitude will most likely never come face to face with one of these energies. However, that same person might experience the blessing of communicating with a human soul from the other side, either through a psychic medium or a dream or a feeling of presence. These truly are blessings along the path.
One thing I have learned throughout all of this, is that human souls, incarnated or disincarnate, deserve respect. A stuck spirit doesn’t need someone yelling at it to “GO to the light.” A stuck spirit should be treated as a young child who’s skinned her knee and needs the loving presence of a caregiver to ‘make it all better.’ If you should come across a stuck soul, don’t fall into fear, but into compassion. You can let them know there is another place that is more comfortable. You can suggest they go towards the light, and/or you can find a shaman or other practitioner to help the soul move forward.
Creepy? Not in my opinion. Honestly, it’s exhilarating to know we aren’t just plant food when we drop our bodies, and that we aren’t just a figment in someone else’s memory, but a living, complicated, and eternal being.