Rethinking other religions

Olivia Storey, News Editor

Since I was about 13 years old, I have studied and practiced spiritualism, which is defined as “a religious movement based on the belief that the spirits of the dead exist and have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. The afterlife, or the ‘spirit world’, is seen by spiritualists, not as a static place, but as one in which spirits continue to evolve.”

For starters, I personally do not consider it to be my “religion.” It’s something that I enjoy learning more about and practicing. While it might seem freaky to some of you, it’s a way for me to express my personality and provide comfort to myself and the dead.

Many spiritualists believe that by communicating with the dead, it provides the dead a sense of relief knowing that they can be heard by someone, even though they are not physically here anymore. Souls are believed to survive bodily death and live in a spirit world, which surrounds the world as we know it. The souls in the spirit world can communicate with our material world, usually through mediums.

I have had contact with spirits before, but I do not consider myself to be a professional medium. For example, when you pay someone to speak to a dead family member, they can target them specifically in the spirit world and talk to them for you. Although many of these can be scams, mediums do exist, and they do value your desire to speak to a loved one that has passed on.

The reason that I began studying and practicing spiritualism was because when I was 13, my grandmother passed away. She was like a second mother to me, and losing her took a huge toll on my life.

During my grief, I stumbled upon the concept of spiritualism, and did as much research as possible before teaching myself how to speak to spirits. While many mediums have been through near-death experiences or trauma to gain their abilities, it is possible to teach yourself how to become one.

I talked to many people through my trials and teachings, but, as expected, my grandma was too stubborn to show herself. After a few years, I gave up on trying to connect with her and accepted the fact that I wasn’t “cool enough” to talk to people that had moved on to the spirit world.

When I moved to Whitewater, it was like a rush of adrenaline. There were so many new spirits to talk to and learn from that I wanted to shut my mind off for a while.   However, after years of waiting, she finally appeared to me in a dream and changed my mind.

The most common way that I’ve been able to speak with spirits is through dreams. So, it was no surprise when my grandmother appeared to me in a dream, after I had finally figured out who I was supposed to become during my time at school.

She looked the same as she did before she got sick; she was healthy and glowing. She told me that she was proud of who I was becoming, and that she missed me and my sister dearly, but was always watching over us. I woke up in a cold sweat and knew that she had waited for the right moment and the right time to finally speak with me.

Spiritualism is not a weird or freaky thing. It’s a way of life for the people who practice it, and is an interesting concept for those who study it. For me, it’s an interesting learning experience that I’ll never regret learning.

When you think or talk about religion, I encourage you to rethink your preconceived notions about people who “talk to the dead.” They really are just ordinary people with a cool gift.

– Olivia Storey

  News Editor