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4 Sep 2010 in coastal view

The Billingham Spiritualist Church was where I took my first tender steps into the spirit world .I attended as many of their open circles as my shift pattern would allow, only getting the odd message here and there from some of the characters that had been in my life so far.
One particular evening stands out in the early days as one of my first encounters with a spirit. On this occasion, there was only five or six people in the circle. Most of that evening I had a strange feeling down the left hand side of my face. It felt as if I had something pressed against it. Towards the end of the night the Rev. Ann Robson asked if I had anything to share with the circle. So I spoke up and told them about this odd sensation down the side of my face. Straight away a member of the circle said that there was a gent sat with me whom she knew and that he had suffered with an injury to the face at work. She went on to say that he had been lashed by a steel cable and this had left a scar down the left-hand side of his face. She added that he would have sat alone on a night in the local pub just like I was sat that evening. I realised then that the sensation did actually feel like a scar or indentation on my face and this was my first real contact with the spirit world. I still get the same sensation today when a spirit come close or wishes to work with me.
Looking back at events like this has left me with no doubt that Billingham Spiritualist Church was always meant to be my seat of learning. I still class it as my home church even though a couple of months later I found out that I lived just down the road from another spiritualist church.
My journey started in the Billingham Spiritualist Church, the place I needed to be to learn about being a spiritual person, about being compassionate to others and about being responsible for the messages I pass on to others.
Sometimes the biggest skill we have forgotten is just to be ourselves and let life’s road take us to where we need to be.
 


12 Oct 2010 in coastal view

Norman
In the early days one the many issues mediums have is understanding and daring to pass on the message. More so if you don’t understand what the message means or the message is way out there with the pixies or bordering on toys in the attic stuff.
So here I am many moons ago sat in a open circle at Grangetown spiritualist church with one of the most well known and enigmatic or eccentric (take your pick) mediums in the area Norman (that’s all I need to call him most of you will know him). He is well known for his abilities and his outspokenness and his really bad jokes, he would crack a show stoppers like “are you Jewish because I can see you pealing a orange in your pocket “. Along with this humour came a fantastic medium who could keep an audience’s attention while giving some really great massages and a fantastic insight into the spirit world. I personally consider Norman as one of my biggest influences. he taught me how to interpret what I was picking up , to give the message out no matter how odd it may seemed and never let myself be put off by a “NO” answer because even if the message doesn’t belong to the person It may well belong to a family member or a friend of the family. He made sure that I understood that the message is important and should be delivered.
I was giving a reading to a friend one day in fact it was over two days via email and finally face to face in the church. The evidence I had given out in the reading was pointing to a couple who had married and passed away within weeks of each other in a hospice. All of a sudden I got the phrase “finger prints in the soap” buzzing around my head. My head was saying “no that can’t be right its far to odd to give out” but me being me and I’m the sort of person that goes where even idiots fear to tread, I decided to go for it. So out the message came with me not knowing what reaction I would get. Slowly I watched her mouth drop open in disbelief at what I had said. OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!
When the dust had settled she went on to tell me that the lady of the couple who passed away had told her if she could find a way back she would leave her finger prints in the soap as a message that everything was ok in the spirit world. Well it was my turn to say OH MY GOD! This had given me proof that I was working with the spirits I thought I was working with and if I hadn’t given that piece of the puzzle out there may have been some drought to which spirit I was working with . Thankfully for the lady it turned out to be both her friend and her partner.
So thank you Norman I learned well from the master. the lessons you were handing out. Pass on the message you get no matter how bizarre it may seem to you it could be a very important clue to bring a bit of light back into someone’s life.
 


    

GUIDES

I am sat on a flight to California as I write this chapter. I’m on my fourth visit to the great state and will be visiting Yosemite national park to pay homage to one of my guides.  Margaret “Tabouse” Howard is her name and she was a member of the Yosemite Valley Miwok tribe. Her roles, when she was alive, were head basket weaver and tourist guide for the Native American Museum in the park.

‘How do I know she is my guide?’  I hear you ask!   Well, the story begins in 2006 a week before I was due to leave on my second trip to California to meet my good friends Dick and Judy.  I was sat in the Grangetown Spiritualist Church open circle on a Wednesday evening and my good friend Frederica Cooper told me that whilst she was away on holiday, a spirit if a Native American lady visited her. Frederica told me the lady told her to ‘tell ray to share’.  At the time the message confused me somewhat.

So that weekend, I set out over the pond to sunny California. We spent some time in San Francisco, and then visited our friends in Auburn, which is just outside of Sacramento.  They had planned a special night in Reno, when they took us to see Frank Sinatra Jr’s brilliant concert. After that we went over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Groveland, just outside the Yosemite National Park. The following day we travelled into the park, stopping along the way to take in some of the breath-taking views, such as the El Capitan Mountain and the Bridal veil water fall.  When you arrive in the main tourist area there are many attractions such as the fantastic Ahwahnee Hotel (Ahwahnee is the name of the tribe that inhabited that particular area of the Yosemite) and the Native American Museum, which we visited first.

As we were looking at the fantastic Native American baskets that were on display, I noticed on display a Native American dress and a picture of the lady and creator of the fine garment. That lady was Margaret Howard and she was wearing the dress which was on display, but something was different about the actual dress. The dress in the picture, along the hem line, had a row of symbols that were similar in shape to the German swastika.  On the dress on display, these symbols had been removed. At the time, there was a museum tour guide stood next to me, so I asked him why the symbols had been removed and what the symbol meant to the Native American people. I was greatly rewarded by his answer: the symbols were called ‘tumbling logs’ and they signified the four directions of the wind. Way back in 1933, when fascism in Germany was on the rise, as a mark of respect to the people visiting the park from many nations around the world, Margaret Howard removed the symbols.

This story was gold to my ears.  I was intrigued by the history surrounding Margaret and her tribe. It was only when I got back to the UK that the penny dropped and realised this was the lady who had visited Frederica while she was on holiday!

 A week or so after I returned from holiday; it was my turn to do the divine service at the Grangetown Spiritualist Church. Part of the service is to give a speech on your personal experiences or philosophy, so the guests can take some inspiration home with them. My speech that day was about my journey across the States, who I met and what stories I had to tell. Well, my Margaret Howard tale had a big impact and, while I was giving messages out, she worked alongside me and guided my information and messages to the congregation!  That day I realised what it was she wanted me to share with everybody; her love of life, her respect for other people’s beliefs and, most of all, her wisdom. 

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