Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Parting Gift.... Sound Advice... A Young lad Contradicts a Medium....Red and Purple Poppies...

20th November - I had only a short trip up the road at ASK Neilston.  A church that is well supported by the community
21st – Again another short trip in the opposite direction, south this time to the Temple of Light Spiritualist Church in Kilwinning.
26th I was off to the Pollockshaws and District Spiritualist Church, Langside Halls, Shawlands, Glasgow.  This is a well established church that has helped so many people over the years.  Recently numbers have been dropping because of rumours that the church had closed.  This church has no intention of closing and apart from a two week festive break.   Its doors will open in early January to welcome all who wish to attend.

27th I was taking a workshop at the Milngavie and Bearsden Spiritualist Sanctuary...This Sanctuary only opened in August is already part of the community.  Not only was there a good turnout at the workshop but all those who attended were very enthusiastic and talented.

28th – Taking part in a Psychometry Experiment.  Still waiting on the final results but early reports show that the evidence given was accurate.

29th - It was a welcome return to ASK Dreghorn.

30th - The Angel Light Spiritualist Church This is another church which could do with some support.  So if you are in the area and have some free time on a Friday evening at 7.30 then why not drop into the Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre, Daisy Street Govanhill, Glasgow. G42 8JL.  Close to Victoria Road.
1st December – Still not travelling too far from home I was at The Ayr Spiritualist Centre.

6th – Landside Spiritualist Church, Langside Halls.
9th - The Friendship of Love and Light, Foxbar, Paisley.  Founded by one of the most popular mediums in West Central Scotland, Eddie Docherty.  Sadly Eddie past in 2006 but the church still is run  in true Eddie Docherty tradition of being a place where love, comfort and help is always available. 

10th – Taking part in a debate “Can Spiritualism be Taken Seriously?”

13th – My last service of the year at Carluke Spiritualist Church.


I was giving a talk on Spiritualism when an elderly lady said that she was saddened that so many people were being cremated today.  With cremation there is nowhere for family and friends to go to pay a little respect when one feels the need too.  When there is a plot in a cemetery one can go and stand for a few minutes in thought about the deceased, and in taking a bunch of flowers one can brighten up their last resting place.     
I could see where the old soul was coming from.  Although one can have a rose bush or a tree planted in the crematorium grounds with a little plaque of the name of the deceased, to many it is not the same as having a grave stone and a plot in a cemetery.  There are those who will plant a tree or a bush in their garden in memory of a loved one something they can look out on every day.  It is all down to personal preference but it can cause a lot of strife in families.

Somewhere to go, something to look at in memory of a loved one can take many forms... here is a novel way that we could all think about and maybe use our own version as far as remembering a loved one is concerned.

Stephanie and Josephine had been good friends for many years and when Josephine had been diagnosed with a terminal illness she gave the lovely candle holder pictured above to Stephanie.  A lovely gift in normal times but with Josephine being so ill – what a better gift to be exchanged between friends. 
Although Stephanie treasured the lovely gift from her close friend, after Josephine’s passing it took on much more significance.  In all her suffering Josephine took time to seek out a gift for a good friend.  Not only a gift for her good friend - but a special gift – a gift with such lovely words that would be coming from Josephine’s heart.  The gift has pride and place in Stephanie’s house, always noticeable when anyone walks into the lounge.  Josephine’s light shone in this life and the love that she put into selecting this gift still shines on when a candle is lit in the holder Stephanie is sure that her good friend draws close.

                          ............Sound Advice..........

 What is the best advdvice I could offer to a fledgling about to set foot on the platform for the first time?  The same advice I was given many years ago.   This was not from a medium but from two elderly ladies who were members of our church.  Neither ever claimed to have heighted psychic abilities but both had their finger on the pulse as far as Spiritualism – the religion was concerned.  In fact their advice started almost as soon as I started attending the church. 

It was either my first or second visit to the church they said “Don’t look on this as the paranormal, all this is natural. It is not us that are strange; it is those outside who are not aware of what is around them”.  I nearly burst out laughing at this but they were genuine and sincere so I decided to have an open mind and give spiritualism a chance

Right from the start they seemed to have this crazy notion that I would end up on the platform of a spiritualist church.   As far as I was concerned there was absolutely no chance of that every happening.   At that time I had absolutely no confidence, I felt I had no psychic abilities and I had no ambition to be a medium.

During my early days in spiritualism I would sit right at the back of the church behind a large cheese plant.  But this did not keep me hidden from the mediums as I constantly got a message from spirit.    These messages contained good information that could certainly point to a strong possibility of life after death.  But...  I could always dilute this strong possibility before I got home.  The medium had read my mind, being able to detect memories stored in my brain from the past.  Or I may just have mentioned something about the incident and the person coming forward from spirit before the service.  And then there was the firewall that no medium’s message every got past – it was not in my script which I felt each family member might give me as evidence that it was them.

Then one night I was impressed by a medium, a young medium wearing a green dress – the reason for me mentioning the dress will become apparent in a moment.  The two old dears must have noticed less of a scowl on my face after the service.    They came up to me and said “You were impressed by that young lady this evening”.   I had to admit I was, but not with the message she gave me although that was impressive, I was more taken by her address. An address that made so much fall into place as far as spiritualism was concerned.

The two old souls thinking it was the clairvoyance then came out with – “Just imagine her taking off that lovely green dress”.  I was amazed at this comment and hoping others around us would not hear our conversation about the young medium undressing.  And horrified as to what they would come out with next.  But what they said could be the best advice given to any spiritualist medium.

“Just imaging that young lass change out of that dress and into a football strip.  She plays a game of football and scores three goals.  Everyone will be praising her, but for any player to score three goals they must be part of a team.  This young lady was part of a team tonight – she had her spirit guides and helpers with her.

A football team has a crowd cheering them on.  This young lady tonight did not have a crowd cheering her on – but she had a congregation sending out a lot of love to her.

So remember when you are on the platform you are only part of a team. And when you think the service has went well, be proud, pat yourself on the back, but also give praise to all connected with the good link with spirit”

Those words I have never forgotten and after every service I always say

“Thank you...

Remember this is always team work...

You – the congregation – send your love to spirit...

Spirit - sends their love back...

And hopefully the medium gets the interpretation of the information spirit is sending correct...

I hope  that this is what you have experienced this evening.

Then one night they said “Every time you stand up on the platform take a deep breath, look at the congregation and think to yourself - there will be many in the congregation that will have a stronger link with spirit than you will ever have.  They will have close ties with spirit in their everyday lives, working in all areas of the community, the care profession just being one”.
I am ashamed to say I could have screamed that night “I know, I know that there will be countless people have a much stronger link with spirit than I will ever have.  I will never appear on the platform, I have never any ambition to appear on the platform”. 

But these two ladies were right and their comments above are something I have always taken on board and think of their words every time I appear on the platform.

There were many more words of wisdom from these ladies...
“Whenever you step on the platform and you have no nerves in the pit of your stomach just think, Spirit could be on strike that evening or there is a public holiday in the spirit world”.

This was not meant as a joke maybe more of a warning to keep one’s ego intact.
I don’t think there are any better words of wisdom to help a medium about to step on the platform for the first time and also throughout their years serving spirit...

 Vince emails –“Ever since I was a small boy I always thought that the worst time to die was around Christmas and the New Year as for that family of the deceased the festive period would never be the same again.   What are your thoughts on this?
Vince your email reminds me of an incident at a spiritualist church almost twenty years ago.  A medium said in her address said roughly what you mentioned in your email.  A 11-year-old lad took exception to this and shocked the congregation by making his thoughts known.  He said that five years before his father had died on the first day of the school summer holidays and the young lad always dreaded the break from school in the summer.   It was the same at Christmas.  “So I dread both summer and Christmas” said the young man.  The medium and chairwoman were not too pleased at the interruption but I could see where the young man was coming from and I am sure most of the congregation did also.

We will always connect something with the passing of a loved-one   one lady’s mother passed on the 6th of April and when the 6th of any month comes around the daughter has an off day.    One chap said to me that he his dad was over his time because he had suffered so much the last two years of his life and could do nothing for himself.  So there was no real grieving when the old soul passed.  Also no grieving at the anniversary of his passing each year.  But the son said there was always a tear in his eye on the day of the Ayr Gold Cup as that was his dad’s special day of the year, the only day in the year when he went to the races.
There are those who will say “It must be great to be a spiritualist as you will not go through the grieving process.  You believe your loved ones live on and there can be communication with them”.  Alas that is far from the truth.  Even though we believe we are only human and we can grieve as long as or even longer than those who don’t believe in life after death.

No matter how long we are in this life we will always have memories of loved ones that have passed on before us.  I am sure those in spirit would prefer us to have happy memories instead of sad ones.  Instead of those memories dwelling on the time of the passing which may have been a traumatic time, think back to a happy moment you enjoyed with them.




A mistake in my last blog meant that I put the wrong comments under the title “Red and Purple Poppies”.  So here it is now....
Colin asks – “I saw several people wearing a purple poppy on their lapel alongside a red one.  Has the purple poppy got anything to do with Spiritualism?” 
The purple poppy has been issued by Animal Aid to commemorate all animal victims of war.  This is not meant to be an alternative to the traditional red poppy, as the two can be worn side by side as a reminder that both humans and animals – have been – and continue to be victims of war.
During human conflicts animals have been used as messengers, for detection, scouting and rescue, as beasts of burden and on the frontline.  They have been used for companionship in the trenches and continue to be used for horrific warfare experiments in Labourites. 
I must admit I did not know about “The Purple Poppy” till I checked after receiving Colin’s email.  Next year I will be wearing both red and purple poppies.
Latest on the poem page is a poem a little girl gave to her grandmother the other day.  Only a few lines but the words show the love this young lady has for her grandmother...
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all that have contributed to this site in 2012.  Also those who have looked into the site I hope that you got some benefit from it.