Posted in Psychic and Intuition, Tarot

3 Simple Steps to a Great Psychic Reading

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Image credit: weheartit.com

Curious about getting a spiritual or psychic reading, but not sure where to start? Before you google “psychics near me,” here are some things to consider.

1. Ask for Referrals & Get Multiple Perspectives

Finding the best psychic for you doesn’t have to be like finding a needle in a haystack. If someone you know has gotten an awesome reading, ask if they’d recommend that psychic reader for you. Explore readings with other psychics, too. Just because your best friend loved one reader doesn’t mean their reading style will resonate with you. And that’s perfectly fine!

Before you schedule an appointment, be clear about what sort of reader you’re looking for. A medium? A spiritual coaching or intuitive session? Someone to help you interpret a recurring dream? Ask your local metaphysical or psychic shop for insight on what their readers’ skills are, and who might be the best fit for you. Or, connect with a psychic reader you know and ask who they’d recommend you see. If what you’re looking for isn’t their area of expertise, chances are, they know someone who could work well with you.

2. Be Open

Showing up to an appointment and then resisting your psychic reading by closing up will just leave you and your reader feeling awkward and dissatisfied. If the thought of someone reading you makes you feel closed off, scared or determined to test your reader by withholding information or making them guess, chances are, you aren’t ready for a reading. If you would like to visit a psychic and are feeling this discomfort and resistance, it’s important to acknowledge these feelings and follow them back to their root so that you can get more comfortable with the idea of someone reading you.

For example, if you feel nervous about being read by someone, see if this lies in your resistance to know about your future, or if you are scared to hear something you don’t want to. Honest psychic readers conduct their readings with empathy, especially if and when serious and sensitive topics emerge. They aren’t there to judge you or push you to make a decision you aren’t comfortable with. Rather, they will offer you advice and validation so that you can begin taking crucial steps forward.

3. Come Prepared

Center yourself and get connected with what it is you’d like to accomplish from your psychic session. Sometimes coming to your reader and asking them to communicate “whatever they can pick up” can open doors and lead you and the reader to a deeper conversation about what you really need to know in that moment. In most readings, you’ll likely hear what you’re meant to, and if your reader is in tune with your energy fields, the information that’s presented will feel like a big confirmation. But if you have an idea in mind about what you’d like to know, share that with your reader at the start of your session.

Super specific questions like “Will I get back together with my ex,” or “Will I get the job I applied for this week” are sometimes counterproductive simply because these questions might not get to the heart of what you need to hear. Instead, consider questions like “What should I look for in a partner so that I can find someone who aligns with my goals and values, and will help me develop into a better partner and person,” or “What sort of career will make me happiest and help my personal development?”

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Posted in Astrology, History

New Year’s 2018

New Years - Shutterstock
Image Credit: Shutterstock

For those of us following the Gregorian calendar, the new year swiftly approaches. January 1 is now a recognized holiday in the United States and throughout a large part of the world. It’s a day devoted to reflecting on the past year, making resolutions and spending time with family and friends. But this date hasn’t always been set in stone – it’s changed with the times!

Following the Cosmos

Universe Phys.org
Image Credit: Phys.org

Acknowledging the new year has been a human tradition for thousands of years. Many ancient civilizations identified the start of the new year as being in sync with times of harvest or astrological events. Back in ancient Babylon, people celebrated the start of the new year during the Atiku festival, which took place for 11 days in late March, beginning on the first new moon after the vernal equinox. This festival meant feasting, celebrating and religious rituals.

Ancient Egyptians celebrated Wepet Renpet, which translates to “opening of the year” (history.com). This festival marked the annual flood of the Nile River, which the Egyptians relied on for their crops. They looked for the reappearance of the star Sirius to mark the yearly flood.

A Set Date

Julius Caesar - history.com
Image Credit: history.com

The New Year first fell on January 1 because of Julius Caesar and Alexandrian astronomer, Sosigenes, in 45 B.C. The traditional Roman calendar was based around the lunar cycle, but was often out of sync and needed constant correction. Caesar was advised by Sosigenes to create a calendar following the solar year, like the ancient Egyptians.

With this new cycle, Caesar and Sosigenes documented that each year would be 365 1/4 days and added just over two months’ worth of days to the calendar. This moved the new year from taking place in March to January 1. The new month was named after Janus, the Roman god of transitions, beginnings and time. The god’s two faces were said to look forward into the future and back into the past.

In the middle ages, Pope Gregory XIII implemented the Gregorian calendar to solve for an 11-minute miscalculation on Caesar’s part. This initially small gap had added 10 days to the calendar, bumping the Easter holiday farther and farther from its original date near the vernal equinox. With this fixed and leap years more adequately tracked, the New Year was set to stay at January 1!

New Year’s Affirmation

This New Year’s, take time to reflect and set personal goals. What is it you’d like to manifest for yourself? How can you get closer to being the best version of yourself? Clear your mind and adapt a personal affirmation to help you empower yourself to bring about positive change in your life. You may want to use the following as a template to get you started:

I am in charge of my future and my past does not define it. I hold the positive energy that I need to sustain myself and give compassion to the world. I have the strength to speak my truth, live to my highest good, and surround myself with people who help me see my true worth. I actively practice forgiveness to others and myself.

What significance does New Year’s hold for you?

Posted in History, Uncategorized

Four Christmas Traditions and Their Ancient Pagan Origins

The word Yule, or Jul, is so ancient that it can be traced back to the oldest of the Germanic languages. While the exact meaning of the word is still uncertain, it’s believed that it comes from a Scandinavian term for “wheel,” with a direct link to the wheel of the year, or perhaps from the Old English word for “jolly.”

Yule is one of the oldest known winter celebrations marking the winter solstice and the start of the next solar year with the rebirth of the sun. On the darkest night of the year, the early Germanic pagan people honored the gods and gave thanks for the sun that gave them life.

Celebrations of the sun and the return of light to the world are pretty standard across most world religions. In fact, the great love and expansive following of this tradition was likely what made the early church select December 25 as the date for the holiday we’re all so familiar with in the west. December 25 was traditionally the end of the winter solstice in Rome, “and was a time for celebration of the birth of Mithra, an ancient sun god” (Tahlequah Daily Press). Early Christians took on this day to celebrate the birth of another son, Jesus Christ.

In 354 A.D., one Roman scholar documented the initial record of December 25 as the date for the Christian holiday: “When the doctors of the church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true nativity should be solemnized on that day” (Tahlequah Daily Press).

With two powerful traditions meeting, it’s no wonder that we’ve adapted “Yuletide carol,” “yule log,” “yuletide by the fireside” into our wintery, holiday season vocabulary. But exactly which traditions are still practiced today that stem from early pagan beliefs? We’ll explore four common themes.

1. Yule Log

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Photo credit: deireland.com

Originally a Nordic tradition, the Yule log wasn’t the sort of log you could easily fit into your fireplace – it was an entire tree! This large piece of wood helped to ward away bad spirits, as the darkest part of the year was known to be a time when the dead could easily cross realms and walk among the living. It was important that the new log be lit with wood from the remains of the previous year’s log, and kept burning through the days of Yule (later, through the Twelve Days of Christmas).

In France, wine was sprinkled on the log to ensure merriment and good fortune throughout the following year. France and Belgium were also the birthplaces of the chocolate dessert Yule log. These tasty cakes “are known as ‘Kerststronk’ in Flemish” (whychristmas.com).

2. Christmas Ham

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Photo credit: hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com

Yule festivals were centered around great feasts of domestic livestock. Eating most of the livestock meant less animals to keep warm and feed during the long winter, with just enough animals kept to ensure new animals in the spring.

A boar’s head with an apple in its mouth is a familiar image to us now, with roots in its presentation in the ancient great halls of kings throughout northern Europe. Feasting on a Christmas (or Yule) ham has a direct link to early Germanic people who made the sacrifice of a great boar to Freyr, a fertility god who rode a gold boar named Gullinbursti. Freyr was offered sacrifices and toasts to bring a prosperous harvest the following year.

3. Santa Claus

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Photo credit: thenortherngrove.wordpress.com

One major influence on our modern Kris Kringle undoubtedly stems from Odin’s Wild Hunt. The Norse told of Odin, a legendary god of the dead, upon his eight-legged steed, Sleipnir, flying across the sky with his ghostly army. Some folklorists say this eight-legged horse prompted Santa’s eight reindeer. (Note: Donner/Dunder and Blitzen/Blixen are derived from Dutch words for thunder and lightning, the forces of nature ruled by Odin’s son Thor in traditional Norse mythology.)

Yet it would be too simple to say that Santa came solely from Germanic pagan roots. It’s more likely that this jolly figure is an amalgamation of several wintery characters, including the elderly, bearded Father Time, Father Christmas and Meditteranean-based, gift-giving Saint Nicholas. And let’s not forget la Befana, an Italian folkloric witch who traveled on Epiphany Eve (January 5), filling good children’s socks with candy and sweets, while ill-behaved tots received coal or sticks.

4. Christmas Tree

Victoria and Albert Christmas Tree Wikimedia
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Christmas trees as we know them likely sprouted in 15th-century Germany as a local holiday practice. Victorian Prince Albert is often acknowledged as introducing the tradition to England in the mid-1800s, though it’s also said that Martin Luther invented the Christmas tree.

Regardless of our modern take on the Christmas tree, evergreen firs have long been used in winter festivals. Their bright green color, lasting even throughout the winter, represented the promise of spring’s greenery to return. Branches were used to decorate pagan houses, and fir trees were placed in Roman temples during Saturnalia, another winter festival (whychristmas.com).

Perhaps the Germanic roots of this holiday tree carry back to Yggdrasil, the world tree of old Norse that symbolically represents the Earth and all its realms. Many early European people considered trees to be sacred, practicing ceremonial magic and holding rituals in designated groves. 

What’s your favorite Yule or Christmas tradition? Do you know its historic roots? We’d love if you shared it with us!

Posted in Astrology

Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius

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Image courtesy of astar.tv

On December 3, we kicked off the last Mercury retrograde of the year. Until December 23, Mercury is in the house of blunt, willful and dreamy Sagittarius. If you haven’t noticed already, a Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius calls for us to practice patience and forgiveness for communication mishaps or misunderstandings. Luckily, understanding the root of these mishaps gives you a chance to be reflective and power through. This retrograde and the ones to come have nothing on you!

What in the World IS a Mercury Retrograde?

A few times a year, Mercury passes Earth in orbit. When it slows and appears to stop and spin backward, astrologers call this “retrograde.” This optical illusion is similar to what you experience when you pass another car on the expressway. As you increase speed, the car next to you seems to stop and move backward, when in actuality, you are both moving in the same direction.

Mercury: Messenger and Trickster

The planet Mercury is named after the Roman messenger of the gods, and is also associated with the Greek mythological god Hermes. According to ancient beliefs, Mercury ruled communication, merchants, travel and literature. Mercury also had a trickster side, and was prone to misbehavior and thievery.

Astrologically speaking, Mercury rules our communication with one another, near- and long-distance travel, and technology on Earth. This planet is also said to rule human minds, which are powerful tools that help us shape our own realities. This makes Mercury retrograde the opportune time to release mental blocks or get to the root of pervasive thought patterns that no longer serve your highest good. Reflect on lessons that 2017 has taught you and approach 2018 with a fresh, positive perspective.

Surviving a Mercury Retrograde

Should you feel disorganized, spread thin or frustrated, sift through mental clutter brought on by this retrograde by journaling and reflecting during meditation. What seems to be a recurring theme in your thoughts? How can you approach them with more self love and positivity? Don’t stress if answers don’t present themselves immediately. Once Mercury goes direct on December 23, you’ll find that what you seek is easily accessible as long as you approach it with a positive outlook.

This time is also ideal for practicing forgiveness and flexibility. Since this planet rules travel, check and double check your travel plans if you must be in transit before Mercury goes direct. Review and re-review agreements that you enter in this time, also. Aside from the retrograde affecting technology, making it spotty or unreliable, communication breakdowns are common. Don’t be frustrated if you find folks changing their minds, wanting to take longer to make decisions or being extra cautious before entering agreements. In fact, look at how you can slow down in your decision making during this time, too! Honor that things will work out the best way for everyone involved.

What do you practice to power through a Mercury retrograde? Let us know in the comments!

Posted in Classes and Events, Ghost Hunts, Psychic and Intuition

Haunted Allegan Ghost Hunt October 2017

What happens when a group of psychics perform a double investigation into the paranormal? Just about what you’d expect: A wealth of spirit contact! Illuminate Your Spirit and Red Raven Paranormal teamed up to explore the hauntingly beautiful Allegan Country Inn and Old Jail Museum in Allegan, MI with a group of paranormally-inclined guests.

Allegan Country Inn

Located on a lush 14 acres, the inn has operated under Sheila Dever’s ownership since 2005. Built in 1856, the acreage came with a rich history before the inn was even built. The Allegan area was populated by Algonquin Native American tribes before white settlers saw the opportunity of the rolling lands in post-Civil War times. Before its days as a bed and breakfast, the inn served as a home for overflow of both living and dead from the county poorhouse and farm in the early 1900s, and was most recently a private residence.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that paranormal enthusiasts, psychics, mediums and seekers of the unexplained are drawn to Allegan Country Inn. Dever reports that every room in the home has had unexplained activity, with electrical and internet issues still a regular occurrence.

The investigations began on the evening of October 28. Guests milled in and explored the rooms, admiring the collection of antique clocks (all of which were stopped at different times).

Leslie of Red Raven Paranormal & Donna of Illuminate Your Spirit listen intently to the Spirit Box in the Allegan Inn’s parlor.

Red Raven Paranormal’s organizers, Lisa and Leslie, gathered the group into the parlor and guests settled in for personalized psychic readings. The paranormal equipment on-site didn’t hesitate once the readings were done: The table lit up with activity.

This seemed like enough of an invitation to continue the hunt throughout the house. Investigators were treated to a quick training session on EMF meters, infrared thermometers, laser grids and other paranormal detecting equipment available for complimentary use, and heard from Lisa, Leslie and Donna, Illuminate Your Spirit’s co-owner, about past paranormal evidence.

An explorer practices using dousing rods to detect paranormal activity.

Activity in the attached bathroom of the main floor’s front bedroom registered three spirit names on spirit box phone apps: Abigail, Sarah and Daniel. The psychic medium in attendance reported that the area near the large clawfoot tub was where the bodies of those who died from tuberculosis were dressed with their arms, head and legs tied to prevent the body from slipping as the limbs stiffened. Since this occurred before embalming was a widespread practice, myrrh was burned to ward away the smell of decay.

Documented activity wasn’t singled out to the main floor. When two guests couldn’t turn on the electric fireplace in the upstairs front bedroom, they reported the tricky heater to Dever. Dever explained that the fireplace regularly refused to turn on, or won’t turn off, dangerously heating to such an extreme temperature that the surrounding carpet burned. While she’s had multiple repair companies out to see the problem for themselves, the fireplace doesn’t act up in their presence.

Strangely, the ceiling above the stove shows a sooty handprint, as if a helpful specter were looking into the problem. No living repair person has checked this spot, considering the pipe is purely decorative!

The upstairs front bedroom also rendered photos that spark curiosity.

A bright orb appears to the left of the paranormal equipment.
What’s that colorful apparition over the chair to the left?

Allegan Old Jail

After three hours of activity at the inn, the group headed to the Old Jail Museum for part two.

Built in 1906, the front of the brick building features a two-story Victorian-style home that housed the sheriff and his family. Attached, three stories of cells were a less comfortable home for early 20th-century inmates.

Explorers were greeted by a museum docent and taken on a short guided tour of the building. All featured museum artifacts (well over 10,000) are from the Allegan county area and were donated by local history lovers, businesses and even government administrative groups. 

Fun fact: Footage of the Old Jail is featured in Andy Warhol’s Ciao Manhattan.

The Warden’s wife didn’t just cook for her family – she fed all the inmates, too! This small barred door in the kitchen provided an opening for food trays to be delivered to the jail cells.

The group began their exploration in the Victorian home exhibits. Of particular interest were items from Allegan funerals, including funeral portraits. Because personal portraits were relatively expensive in Victorian times, it was common that the only photo taken of people took place after death. While this may seem a bit macabre to us modern folks, people from the Victorian era lived alongside common infections and sicknesses such as tuberculosis and measles that we’re now mostly protected from. This made them arguably more accepting of death in the everyday, and drew them to commemorate family members in death.

This 19th-century Allegan man poses with his son, who’d passed on a few hours before the photo was taken.

 

Stereograph photo viewer, circa 1890s.

While several eerie cold spots were distinguished in the solitary confinement section of the jail, the most activity the group recorded took place in the basement of the museum. This area served as storage and the laundry room where inmates were shut in to wash their clothing.

A mannequin serves a lifelong sentence in this 1960s-era jail cell.

In a far corner of the basement, a significant drop in temperature was noted near the postal service exhibit. Here, original letters dating from the early 1900s sit still waiting to be delivered.

A nearly three degree temperature difference recorded near the postal service exhibit.

A courthouse exhibit also sat in the basement. Here, explorers spoke with a spirit who eagerly responded to questions about ice cream, yet readily lit up the parascope to say goodbye.

The periscope light travels as the spirit responds to the group.

Unsure if this spirit was shy or did not want them there, the explorers respected the spirit’s wishes and made this the last stop on the hunt.

Posted in Reiki, Reiki Healing

How Reiki Can Help To Relieve Holiday Stress

Stress is a big part of the holidays for most people. The anxiety of too many people out in the stores, the worry about finances, not to mention that wonderful 10 pounds we tend to put on eating way too much rich and high calorie food. By the time January comes around, we’re exhausted, sick, and upset because our pants are too tight.

So, what can you do to help feel better come 2018? First off you have to make a commitment to yourself! Stop and do what you can to take at least 30 minutes a day to just decompress. Sit down, drink a glass of water, (0r wine 🙂 ) take a few deep breaths and just be for a moment. The dishes can wait, you can fold the towels later. This is your time.

One commitment that you can and should do for yourself is getting a Reiki treatment. For those of you who have no idea what Reiki is, here is a quick explanation.

  Reiki is a form of energy healing. The Reiki practitioner is attuned to the universal energies that are around us. They are able to tap into this energy, amplify it in a way, and channel it into you through light touch or no touch. They are able to balance your chakra systems which in turn, balances you. 

    When your energy is aligned, charged and balanced, you can just about tackle anything. You sleep better, your immune system works better, you feel more energized, you just can handle life a bit better.

To me there is nothing worse then constantly feeling tired. Unfortunately, the people around us could care less if you feel like a zombie all day long. Our kids, boss, fur babies and maybe even your spouse still expects us to take care of them, do that report, make dinner and help with the homework. We still have obligations, no matter how crappy we feel, so why not do something for yourself this holiday and do something that will help you feel better? Maybe Reiki can be your superpower! 🙂

You can click on the link below to read about our Reiki Practitioners on our website.

http://www.illuminateyourspirit.com/meet-our-energy-healers

  Please feel free to call us at the shop with any questions you may have or to schedule your Reiki session.

734-469-2091

Many blessings to you! 

Posted in Classes and Events, Psychic and Intuition, Tarot, Uncategorized

Learn To Read the Tarot with Teri Part 1

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Have you been wanting to learn how to read the tarot for you and for others? Does it seem too overwhelming with the court cards, the major cards and so on? 

Teri will take you on a journey through the tarot in a two part class. First focusing on the Major Arcane and the journey of The Fool. The second class will focus on the minor cards and how they all fit together.

Please bring your own Rider-Waite tarot deck and a notebook.

$30 for each class or $50 for both days when paid together

Sunday November 19th and Sunday December 3rd  12:30 – 2:00