Do you collect crystals? Do you really know about the power of each stone? Do you keep them under your pillow? Patrick has a nerdy conversation with Nicholas Pearson, author of The Seven Archetypal Stones: Their Spiritual Powers and Teachings.
Do you collect crystals? Do you really know about the power of each stone? Do you keep them under your pillow? Patrick has a nerdy conversation with Nicholas Pearson, author of The Seven Archetypal Stones: Their Spiritual Powers and Teachings.
UK medium, Claire Broad, shares stories of Whitefeather, her spirit guide. Learn how she developed her mediumship starting at the age of four! Claire paints a picture of the development circle, and explains why she thinks mediumship should be dealt with like a science.
Psst… Are you looking for the SpeakPipe link?
So I had a wonderful Thanksgiving break, which also included a little break from blogging and podcasting. If anyone out there has just been super distraught over not having any Big Séance in your life over the last week, I do sincerely apologize. For the rest of you, I hope you enjoyed your break from me. I know one thing for certain, and that is that life and work has kicked in high gear once again. Am I right?
So why don’t I ask my audience a question that I probably should ask more often but haven’t.
Did Uncle Frank visit last week? Did you astral travel to the Bahamas in your sleep last night? Have you experienced any impressive intuitive moments lately? Please share in the comments section… or on this post from the social media of your choice!
The next episode of The Big Séance Podcast will likely cover my Third Annual Thanksgiving Ouija Séance that I held last week, once again, with my mother. I can’t confirm that this will be the content of next week, but it just might be. (Check out last year’s Thanksgiving Ouija Séance.)
This one requires a **SPOILER ALERT** if you haven’t seen the film Interstellar yet and you still plan to. We went to see this movie with our neighbors. I wasn’t super excited about seeing it, but smiled and tagged along anyway. I assumed it was just another “space movie”. Boy was I wrong! I won’t go into a bunch of detail, because it would require me to pull up about 3 Wikipedia articles to explain it all, but just know that you quantum physics nerds will be in HEAVEN when you see it. It’s very paranormal, or perhaps simply futuristic, but some claim it’s very close to being scientifically accurate! Though I don’t always possess the vocabulary to explain it well, I was so very proud of myself for predicting a few powerful twists and turns in the film that I don’t think the average person did. This is all due to surrounding myself in a constant sea of paranormal. I felt so smart! It was a fantastic and mind-blowing movie! (It is very long though, so plan on a mid-movie potty break.)
But simply seeing the movie is not why I’m mentioning it. After seeing the movie, I immediately remembered a strange experience that happened to me earlier that morning while waking up. It happened twice, and again, this is before I saw the movie. A female voice woke me from my slumber by sternly saying “Patrick!” I immediately woke up and was alert each time. I didn’t recognize the voice, and I told myself I’d remember… but I drifted back to sleep for a bit and forgot.
After the movie, I had a very strong feeling that the voice from earlier in the day was connected with seeing the film. I can’t explain it well, and I really don’t want to give it away (even with the spoiler alert), but I just know the voice and the experience of seeing Interstellar is connected. I can’t answer why or who, but I’ll keep you posted if more comes to me.
(Here’s an Interstellar trailer.)
This post has been rolling around in my head for several months now. I didn’t really want to put it out there until it felt right, rather than being forced. And since I’ve been waiting for a long time to get my head in the right place to write about it, I decided I’m not going to stop until I get it all out. I’m not always great at verbalizing or making sense of my thoughts… or organizing them, so forgive me.
Some of you may find this fascinating, but others might want to skip this one (or look at the pictures… which means I should add at least one). Some of you might find it frustrating. Some of you will no doubt be annoyed with me (just as I am with myself sometimes)… but as many of you have complimented me on the fact that I question things and have an unbiased, openly skeptic approach, I hope it’s okay that I’m being honest here. But I felt I needed to explain why I pushed pause on EVP and Ouija a while back. And I think it really does have a good ending! If you’re reading on, you might need a bookmark though. Ha! (Actually, this might be one of those read it before I wake up tomorrow and decide to delete it posts.)
For a while now, I’ve felt like I’ve been slacking in contributing to EVP or Ouija research or experimentation, and really, spirit communication in general. I know that a lot of the earliest readers and supporters of this blog came here for exactly that. And I used to occasionally have a nice treat for these folks, like a report from a paranormal investigation, audio samples or possible EVP/Spirit Box/Ouija evidence, etc. from my sessions. Looking back through my posts, unless you count a few of my reports on my Belvoir Winery weekend, it has been since January that I’ve reported on any of my spirit communication research. Why? Well… because even as far back as a year ago, when I disappointed my friend and researcher (and long-lost cousin) Randall Keller by dragging my feet and dropping the ball on some joint EVP research, I started experiencing some serious burnout. So there really hasn’t been any research. I hope Randy forgives me, but as you’ll soon learn, I’m not the easiest partner to experiment with, so he may have gotten over it quickly.
First of all, it’s tiresome and time-consuming!
If you’ve ever conducted consistent and serious EVP sessions, for example, you know that you’ll spend at least twice the time it took to record it, to just give a basic sweep through to analyze what you have. If you decide to record every day for 30 or 40 minutes over the space of a week, you can expect to be sitting at a computer with headphones for at least 7 to 9 hours analyzing that week, and probably longer! That’s a nice full day of work with no paycheck. For me though, I get so focused and detailed that it takes way longer than that. And I’m incredibly OCD about organization and tasks, so it’s not easy for me to work at it for 30 minutes here, put it away for a couple of days, 30 minutes there. That drives me nuts and clutters my brain. So when I dig into this stuff, people around me usually just don’t see me for a while.
Secondly, there’s the problem of feeling let down or disappointed after not finding evidence, or at least not much of it, considering the time that went into analysis. Though some people in the field seem to find it way easier to claim and file EVP away, I cannot. I do have treasured EVP that I believe to be very special, and yes, paranormal. But those EVP are few and far between. Believe me. I WANT these noises and sounds to be EVP, but my heart and brain simply won’t let me claim something is paranormal or a voice from a spirit, unless I know deep down that it is. It’s almost never black and white for me. I will pour over the slightest flagged portion of an audio track for an hour or more, and though it may sound paranormal, and though I could force myself to hear a message, I almost always find that there are explainable reasons for what I’m hearing. That led me to recording sessions with two recorders, once again doubling the time it takes to go over the files. Through the use of that second recorder, I was ruling out most of what I was flagging as possible EVP from the other one. When life continues to move on around you, and when real life and a job doesn’t stop calling, coming up with zero evidence when you’re experimenting consistently, is a real downer.
I absolutely believe that capturing electronic voices of spirits and other entities is possible and a legitimate phenomena. What I’ve begun to realize is that everyone does it differently. Everyone has different standards. Everyone has a different amount of patience. Everyone slept a different number of hours the night before. Everyone had a different lunch. Everyone possesses different abilities, knowledge, and experience.
On some of the many paranormal investigating team sites out there, an investigator might proudly share his “Class A” EVP and be confident that the whole world will hear a particular message. I might laugh and try to figure out a polite way of saying… Dude, did you just start trying out EVP yesterday? Are you sure that’s not a footstep or someone clearing their throat? Or gas? And I’m confident that other investigators have had similar chuckles and thoughts about my claims. I’m also pretty confident that I don’t personally know any fakers out there, but you know they’re there. So then I start thinking… What’s the game? And what’s the point if everyone plays differently?
Parapsychologist Mark Leary has conducted studies on improving the interpretation of EVP among investigators and researchers. In the Summer 2013 ATransC (Association TransCommunication, formerly AA-EVP) News Journal, Dr. Leary concludes the following in an article about his research.
“Low agreement in EVP interpretations is the elephant in the room among those who are interested in EVP. All investigators know that low agreement is a problem, but they hate to confront it because it casts a pall on the entire enterprise of recording and interpreting EVP. Yet, failing to confront the issue simply creates more difficulties. Consistently acknowledging the agreement problem and encouraging investigators to be honest and cautious in how they assert their interpretations is an important first step.”
Though I haven’t yet dived into the actual studies, the mentioned article is fascinating and frustrating all at the same time. But it resonates with me and helps to explain my burnout. It is difficult to find ATransC articles and news journals if you’re not a member, but if you’re involved in EVP at all, try to look for it.
Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD publishes a blog with fascinating thoughts as she travels on her own paranormal journey. In what seemed like amazing timing, a few months ago she published Are EVP Meant Only For the Person Recording Them? and Why Investigators Typically Don’t Validate Other’s Data as Evidence. I’ve kept the links in my e-mail inbox for a long time, just for this post. In a comment to Kirsten, I tried to explain some of what I have here, but also that most of the time I find myself avoiding commenting or validating other investigator’s evidence. It doesn’t mean I don’t listen, but if I’m so incredibly hard on my own evidence, imagine what my brain goes through when I hear someone else’s evidence, and knowing I wasn’t there to see the whole situation, or to use my second recorder (or to partake in the late night snacks!) And does it really matter what I think? Does the trouble that my crazy analytical, yet complete believer brain puts me through really matter to someone else? Not really… at least not in most cases. Kirsten doesn’t need that… and neither do you. Am I still talking? (Gosh! No wonder spirits stay away from me!)
Let me just add this before I move on. Though I don’t believe a haunted location is required to capture EVP, it certainly seems to me that my very comfortable and non-haunted home struggles to let voices in, making me believe that a haunted location certainly makes it easier. It has been suggested that I haven’t yet developed the ear to capture large amounts of amazing EVP. And it very well may be that just like sensitivity to spirit, our ears may all work at different levels. God knows that if my ears are going in the same direction as my eyes, I’m in trouble. In my case though, I do not believe that my lack of confident EVP samples is due to a lack of experience or knowledge… and I hope that doesn’t sound cocky.
So where are you going with this, dude? You sound pretty down and bummed out right now.
Well, I had to explain and describe the whole back story of my burnout, especially for those who may not know what goes into all of this, or for those considering it.
And you included “Ouija” in the title of this post. Are you ever going to get to that? Come on, dude! I’ve got dishes to do!
Sorry. Okay, so this past weekend I had the pleasure and honor of having an amazing and fun discussion with Karen A. Dahlman, a person whom I have much respect for. I was interviewing her for an upcoming episode of The Big Séance Podcast. Along with being a psychotherapist, a hypnotherapist, a business owner, and an author, she’s an expert Ouija-ologist with over 40 years of practice and positive experiences with the board. In the last year, I’ve contacted her a few times after reading her book, and she’s been very supportive and willing to give advice and tips. She is so amazing and genuine, and knowledgable of so many topics, that I could listen to her all day. (I call her my “life-ologist”.)
Though I haven’t put in the same amount of time into the Ouija board as I have EVP, it fascinates me just as much or more! But I’ve experienced a similar burnout and disappointment with the board. As most of you know, I’ve yet to have any movement from the planchette in any of my sessions, whether with a partner or by myself.
There is just something about Karen’s message that woke me up, I think. I really can’t wait for you to hear the episode. I was reminded of how patient and consistent I had to be with my first formal and consistent EVP experiment, which many of you were there for. Though I never ended up with a gold mine of voices, some tiny gems were recorded. And I thought back to the luck of capturing what I still consider to be my paranormal team’s greatest EVP in what was only our second investigation. What a rush!
Karen and I both agreed that I need to continue working with the board, only this time LET GO and have more patience. As much as it pains me to say this, I need to get my analytical brain out of it… not all of it… but I need to let go (Cue the Frozen soundtrack).
So I’ve had a break of several months now, and I may just be getting inspired to get back into the game, with the Ouija for sure. There’s a lot of time and patience involved, but you don’t have to spend 9 hours analyzing audio (unless of course you incorporate EVP into the sessions as I have in the past).
I think I’m going to look at this research a little bit different now. It’s going to be more personal, and not so black and white. That doesn’t mean that you won’t hear about any of it or see or hear samples, or be able to follow my progress, but it’s not so much about getting validation from others, or from myself even. And just know that I probably won’t comment on your EVP, and that doesn’t mean anything either. I’ve got to lighten up, let go, and just roll with this wave.
I really don’t think that the Ouija board and I ever really got to know each other well enough yet. I’m not done with that chapter. And yes, there may even be a new, yet simplified chapter with my old friend EVP as well. But I’m not pressuring myself.
Thanks for reading… and listening… and for supporting…
You don’t hear about UFOs too much on this blog, but this game being developed by a group of smarties at Space Enigma Studios, is so fascinating to me! It is currently a project on Kickstarter. I’ve included the video preview below, but be sure to check out the project on their Kickstarter page! I’ve also included a press release below the video, which was sent to me by the director of Space Enigma Studios, Maximillian Kovtun. (P.S. I’d love to have his name for a few days.) What do you think? Are any of you video game fans?
New files have recently been discovered that are of KGB and GRU (soviet military intelligence agency) origin – the contents of said files talk about extraterrestrial life. These files where [sic] given to cosmonauts who are now developing a video game called Space Pioneer. Space Pioneer will be based on scientific facts, hypotheses and theories – one thing that our game addresses is the possible existence of advanced alien civilizations, and we want to accurately represent that within Space Pioneer.
For most of the 20th century; scientists actively sought to discover signs of other-worldly life. In 1971, the Soviet Union hosted the first international conference on the search for alien life, wherein scientists from various countries agreed on a common strategy for the search of intelligent extraterrestrial life – this strategy was named SETI (Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Numerous radio observatories are still making use of SETI.
On the 15th of August, 1997 – the radio telescope Big Ear, which belongs to the Ohio State University Radio Observatory – received a clear and strong signal from space that most likely was of artificial origin. This signal was so significant that the person who found it – Jerry R. Ehman – wrote, “Wow!” on the signal’s printout. This is the name that was then given to this signal. The mystery that surrounds this signal has yet to be uncovered. Space Enigma Studios and SETI Berkeley have teamed up to try to uncover the mystery that is the Wow signal. If you want to know all the facts on UFO’s, if you want to experience what it would be like to contact other alien civilizations, and if you want to help us uncover the mystery that the Wow Signal holds – then become a supporter of Space Pioneer!
For an interview with Maximillian, check out Meet the Developers: Space Pioneer from The Torch: Entertainment Guide.
Tonight I wanted to share an article written by David Almeida, a fascinating person who I’ve had the great opportunity to chat with online recently. You can catch his bio at the end of the post. After some discussion, he directed me to this article. He has kindly given me permission to share it with you. It just happens to fit in with discussion I’ve had with a few of you in the comments to some recent posts. Thanks, David!
I wrote this article to address the use of objectivity in evaluating a witness’s account of a supernatural event. In a sense, almost all of our judgments are based on our experiences. They may also be grounded (in part) in what other people have told us about the world. For example, there are endless degradations of color and sound. If a person says “The apple is red.” What shade of red is it? For this reason, I believe that an objective statement can be construed as opinion.
This article is only addressing certain kinds of paranormal experiences such as hauntings and physical paranormal manifestations. It’s difficult to assess out of body experiences and other psychic or mental occurrences using this method.
Before asking the reporter (observer or witness) a slew of questions, I let the person tell his or her story with minimal interruption. Constantly breaking into the reporter’s story can lead the person losing his or her thoughts, which can result in the unintentional omission of important details. A witness will typically give the investigator all of the answers he or she requires during the interview process. In fact, I’ve found that most witnesses give more information than they need to.
If the investigator chooses to use this interview method, it’s essential to ask the reporter to start at the beginning of the story and guide him or her through it. You have to keep the reporter focused. A person will often become excited and jump all over the place while relating his or her story. This leads to confusion and pertinent details may be inadvertently skipped over.
It’s advisable that the investigator ask the reporter to use descriptive (objective) words to relate the experience. You don’t want the reporter making subjective statements like “The shadow person was big, bad and scary. That description doesn’t help anyone, although the investigator may want to get the observer’s impressions at the end of the interview.
A person may describe a flower as beautiful. Everybody has their own conception of a beautiful flower. It would be better for the person say “I saw a flower.” It is helpful if the person can identify the type of flower. “It was a rose.” If that is not possible, the person should describe the qualities of the flower.
Whether the investigator is interviewing a witness to a crime or conducting a paranormal investigation, the interviewer will find information that appears false or contradictory. These discrepancies need to be clarified before the interview is completed. An investigator might ask questions such as the ones that follow if the reporter has not provided this information in his or her statement:
How long did the incident last? “I saw it for about two seconds.
How far away were you? “I was ten feet away?”
What did it look like? “The thing was approximately six feet tall. It had a round head and a broad boxy build. It looked like a dark shadow. It made no sound, and it moved quickly” Etcetera.
“Where did you see it?” “I was in bed sleeping, and I saw it in the doorway”
“When did you see it?” “It was last Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at midnight.”
Some other questions you might ask would be:
Are you taking any medications or illegal substances?
Do you have a medical condition?
Have you been sick recently?
What is your opinion of the supernatural? The answer to this question is significant to the investigation. The reporter may say “I feel that the Exorcist was the best movie ever made!”
Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Here again, the answer is important. “I am visited by the shadow people at least twice a week.” “When the moon is full we have a party.” I’m just kidding.
I have learned through personal experience that when two or more witnesses to a crime describe a suspect, each witness will provide a different description. That’s why we have lawyers and jury trials in this country. Does anyone remember the movie, My Cousin Vinny? It’s essential to get to the bottom of things and determine what happened. It does little good to tell someone that you saw a ghost without elaborating on the event in a rational manner.
On the other hand, it’s difficult to describe something that a person has never seen. I saw something in an out of body experience once that I cannot describe at all. It’s hard enough to describe an out of body experience. It’s easy for a skeptic to say that I was just dreaming. When we listen to these stories we have to keep an open mind. I can tell a person that I observed my body from outside of myself while it lay sleeping. Once again that’s easy to refute. If five million people have had a similar experience, does that mean it is true? Maybe not. Most people also dream. Hundreds of thousands of people thought that the Earth was flat at one time (I realize this is a widely used example). Are there really shadow people, or is this phenomenon a mass hallucination? Maybe people want to believe in it, so they conveniently see it.
In my own mind, I can confidently state that the shadow people exist. I had no prior knowledge of shadow people when I observed it. Not to mention that two people saw it at the same time. Does that fact change things? I don’t know. It may make the event more credible. If I could have caught the thing in a net for scientists to examine, that would have made the encounter much more conclusive. Unfortunately, such events rarely have such an outcome.
Explaining a metaphysical theory is different from a scientific theory in that researchers are using known scientific principles. It’s difficult to positively answer a metaphysical and philosophical question such as: “What is consciousness?” We only know that consciousness exists by the fact we that we are animated beings, who have an awareness of our existence. Then again, I’m not a proponent of the big bang theory (I don’t mean the TV show). I feel that this theory has no more basis in fact than some of my own theories. I say this with the understanding that scientists claim that they have reasonable evidence to support their theory. I am more inclined to accept the unfashionable steady state theory of the universe, which states that the universe is continuously expanding.
I claim that Arthur Edward Waite contributed to my theories. Is that reasonable statement? It depends on who you ask. The six or seven mediums who evidently communicated with him might lend their support to my claim. If a person does not believe in mediumship, then what I say about A.E. Waite would be of little value to him or her. A metaphysical theory is one of those things that a person accepts because it strikes a chord in his or her inner being. Such theories typically have insufficient (if any) evidence to lean on. This does not mean that the theories are devoid of truth. It’s just that humans have not discovered the necessary tools to conduct a proper examination of these advanced theories. Metaphysical theories generally involve arcane mystical principles, unknown energies, and references to strange dimensional locales that we cannot verify using modern scientific protocol. That day will come.
David Almeida is a Spiritualist and researcher of Rosicrucian philosophy and esoteric knowledge. David is a past article contributor to the Sedona Journal of Emergence. He is also a Board Certified Hypnotist and Reiki healer. David is the author of The First Truth: A Book of Metaphysical Theories and Illusion of the Body: Introducing the Body Alive Principle. Both books can be purchased at Amazon.com. Visit http://www.findyourdivinelight.com