The Cross

Have to admit

I am deeply flawed

And no matter how hard I try

These things so deeply lie

Burn

Scorched Earth

Wash

Scrubbed Air

Balancing elements

Losing irrelevants

In places

No soap has ever been

In places

No physical eyes have seen

Still, it’s not enough

Some habits hang tough

The flaws magnified

Obsessing over scratches

While missing the gaping wound

Bleeding

Pleading

Seeing life ooze away

Nothing left except to pray

Elements stirred

Returned to the point

At which we started

When these four were parted

Burn

Scorched Earth

Wash

Scrubbed Air

Four-lorn, I am

The fifth gets

Short shrift

The Lamb

I am

A Cross

Free of Dross

I am

Yes, I truly am

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Medium – From My Haunted Life Too

There was a time growing up when I became quite fascinated by spiritualism. The idea that a person could communicate with the dead—actually see and hear ghosts—was of great interest to me. This was an interest that my mother was actually willing to share with me, and so we ended up taking a couple of trips to a spiritualist church in Hull, England. These sessions were always characterized as demonstrations of clairvoyance, rather than speaking with the dead; but that is exactly what these people did.

On our second trip, my dad decided to stay at home, muttering something about it ‘only encouraging weird activity,’ but he was always interested in what had happened at the meetings, of course. He was, I believe, quite right. It did encourage the strange, ghostly activity that was going on in our house at that time, and it also made me more open to strange phenomena.

Attending a spiritualist church as a teenage boy was interesting in and of itself. The first thing I noticed was that the vast majority of my fellow visitors were female and well over the age of fifty. However, by contrast, the mediums were often younger people. That evening, it was quite a full audience for the demonstration as the medium was highly regarded, and he apparently attracted a more diverse audience. He was two or three readings into the evening when his eyes met mine.

“Young man,” he said.

I gulped and likely flushed, as all eyes suddenly stared at me.

“I have a man here with me in spirit who would like to warn you about that motorbike that you have. He is showing me that you will have an accident, so be careful. He is young, this man, and he is wearing motorcycle gear. He passed some time ago, though,” said the medium.

To be honest, I could barely speak. I just nodded acknowledgement, and the medium duly moved on to his next ‘victim.’

Of course, I was consumed with my own thoughts for the rest of the demonstration. We thought that the young man could have been my dad’s brother who had died long before I was born in a motorcycle accident; and yes, I had just recently bought a second-hand Honda C70 motorbike.

At the end of the meeting, both the medium and the organizer approached my mother and me. The organizer knew us and lived in the same area that we did. It transpired that the medium wanted to spend some time with me. He said that he had some things he wanted to tell me, and so, could I come by the next day around 2 p.m. for some tea?

We went home and told my dad what had occurred. He was understandably a little upset at the idea of his brother coming through, but he agreed that I should go for the tea and see what the medium had to say.

 

Seance

 

The next day was actually very disappointing at the time. I had fostered this idea that somehow the medium would tell me something really important, meaningful and deep. In fact, we simply sat in the backyard drinking tea and eating cakes, just chit chatting for about an hour or so. After that, the organizer suggested I should leave so as not to tire the medium, who would be giving another session later that day.

As I was about to leave, however, the medium looked at me and said, “Do you write at all, Gary?”

“Not much. Why?

“Well, I just wanted to say that you will one day write a lot.”

“Okay, thank you,” I replied.

“One more thing, Gary.”

“Yes?”

“Be open.”

“I’m sorry?” I asked, somewhat puzzled.

“Be open to spirit. They will write through you. Don’t be afraid. It will feel quite natural. It may not happen for many years yet, but it will, and I think that you might just sit from time to time with a pen in hand and a bit of paper and see if it happens.”

“Thank you,” I said again, feeling a bitter sense of disappointment. Was that all?

Apparently, the medium put on an uncharacteristically poor showing later that evening. He was tired from meeting with me, he had claimed. I didn’t understand why that should be so, nor really why he wanted to meet with me. At the time, I didn’t believe that he had told me anything very much of value at all.

About six months later, I visited the University of Hull. They had an open day for prospective students. I was seventeen and looking forward to going to university, so I went. Driving back home on my motorbike, as I accelerated away from some traffic lights, I suddenly saw a blur jump out in front of me. I braked as hard as I could, but I hit whatever it was. I heard the yelp of agony as I did so, and then I found myself sliding along the street at about 30 mph, until the handlebar hit a pothole and threw me away, gashing a hole in my knee as I went. The bike was messed up, I was okay (although bruised and bleeding), and the poor dog was dead. I felt bad. I felt terribly guilty for killing a dog. I also felt very fortunate that the light had turned red behind me, and I wasn’t run over by a car.

I remembered the medium then—what he had said in the message—and I understood that this was a sign.

Now, I do indeed write. I write a lot. And the spirits? Well, they do come through. As the boy in the movie said, I see dead people.

This story and others like it in My Haunted Life Too. Out Now!

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Still Scared of the Dark?

Scared of the dark. That’s a funny expression if you think about it. It’s not that we are scared of the dark but of what might be hidden in that darkness.

I know that growing up and if I am truly honest, even now from time-to-time, I am afraid of the dark. Too many terrifying experiences – some even shared – to discount the idea that sometimes the dark isn’t actually hiding something. These days, it is more the memory of things that once happened that can have my heart palpitating, my palms sweaty and the back of my neck hot and prickly! These days, I am able to consciously bring matters under control quite quickly and that is usually all it takes to control the fear. I learned this technique studying magic. Mental discipline is part of the training in all magical systems and it is a basic requirement.

I came to the conclusion several years ago that many unwanted supernatural experiences were happening because of my fear. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, this can be explained as either something feeding off the fear or my fear creating the experience in my mind. It matters not because I believe both are the same anyway – everything I experience I create in my mind. This is why mental discipline is a key part of magical training.

These days, my fear of the dark is primarily a fear of what may be inside of me in my inner make up rather than anything that might be out there. Know thyself is another part of magical training and as we dig deep into our own psyche, we can meet aspects of ourselves we would rather remained buried and in the dark. However, we need to shine light on these negative aspects of ourselves and try to balance them if we are to progress. Perhaps the hardest thing is to be critical of ourselves and to recognize and come to terms with our flaws, shortcomings and plain evilness. The Great Work is the process by which we constantly boil and condense, heat and cool, wash and burn, the aspects of our selves seeking the transformation of these baser elements in to the pure gold we should be. It is a lifetime’s work as we often are oblivious to our own flaws only recognizing them as we gain experience.

The darkness is both outside and inside of us and I have come to understand that the darkness inside is projected out to the darkness on the outside. I am still afraid of the dark because it hides things about myself I have yet to discover, balance or conquer.

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Expectation and the Power of Prayer

A few weeks ago, someone posted in the local Brno-based group on Facebook that the supermarkets here always had empty shelves and that they couldn’t find a number of food items that they were used to in Germany. Politely, I made the comment that I never had experienced that problem and pointed them to a number of locations stocking the items that they needed. I also made the remark that we must live in parallel universes. Not knowing me, that comment was taken the wrong way but I actually meant it. To me, this was another example of magic at work. We get what we expect.

The German plainly had an expectation contrary to mine, that the supermarket shelves were often empty and, as a result, they were. On the other hand, my expectations are that supermarkets are well stocked and for me, they are. I expect poor customer service here and thats often what I get. My fault. I should try better to expect good customer service!

A couple of weeks ago, my salary was sent early from the USA due to the holidays there. The money should have arrived by Wednesday. On Thursday, it had not arrived and I began to worry that it had got lost. Modern banking isn’t reliable and they do make mistakes. About every 4 months, my money goes missing. It vaporizes into thin air between the US and the Czech Republic and none of the banks will ever admit it is their fault nor that they know where my money is. Usually, it either eventually arrives or it ends up back in our company account in the USA. The problem is that as soon as the money isn’t there, I begin to expect that the banks have yet again screwed it up. This time, however, I decided I wasn’t going to let that happen. My remedy was to pray. Yes – pray.

I sat and I focused my mind. God is everywhere, all knowing and all seeing. I thanked the all knowing, all seeing Deity for my blessings and then asked that my money show up the next day. I pictured the money sitting on my account. I visualized my money being in my bank account when I checked it online the next morning. I made myself believe that there was no possible way for it not to be there. There was not a shadow of a doubt in my mind since the Deity is all seeing, all knowing and all powerful, there was nothing else to do but confidently await the next day. The money was of course there.

This is how prayer works. This is how magic works and this is how we create reality.

Perhaps a good example of this is when you simply know something is so. There are times when I know that Hull City will win or lose or draw. I don’t mean I fancy a win or a loss I mean I KNOW. I am always right in these instances without fail. The KNOWING is faith in an outcome so strong that no other outcome is possible. None.

Prayer is a key part of life and of creating our lives. Proper prayer cannot fail to produce results. Proper prayer involves visualization and it can be a willful act of magic. Prayer should be a conversation with the Creator that begins with thanks and gratitude. Give it a try. It works.

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The Art

In the silence I can hear
As I watch my heartfelt prayer
In the stillness of the inner
I ask forgiveness and renewal
The Sea is still and deep
Reflections there to keep
Aqua fluidly accepts ideas
Smoothes and refines, purifies
And throws them on the Fire
Flaming through intense desire
To work the Art of magic
The inner to the outer flows
Water steams as ember glows
I see, I hope, I know
That from my uttered words will grow
The qualities that I seek
I am, stillness, eternal
A presence in the space
A fluctuating lighted face
Flickering half-formed in the first light
I imagine that it will grow so very bright
Consuming, boiling, generating
Between the darkness and the light
And everything is simply just right
As it is meant to be
An eternal uttered prayer
The Word is spoken
The speaker is content
The magic is now spent

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A Meeting with God

In the run up to Halloween, here is another true and strange tale of the paranormal. I will post a new strange true story each day so don’t miss them.

A few weeks into my college days, as I made my way from the Students’ Union building to my student flat on the 19th floor of a campus building, I noticed a rather suspicious looking character who seemed to be following me around. As I entered one of the elevators in the ground-floor of the building, he followed peering sideways at me but looking away whenever I tried to catch his eye. As the elevator arrived at my floor, I was hoping it was all just my imagination and that perhaps he would continue up to the top floor above me. But, as I left the elevator, he followed and as I reached the doorway into the group of six study bedrooms, shared kitchen, and bath that was my home on campus, he was still right there – right behind me.

“Do you want something?” I asked nervously.

“Gary, I want to talk to you,” he said quietly.

“How do you know my name?” I asked in surprise.

“Oh, I know a lot about you.” he replied. “And I must speak with you – Now if possible.”

Reluctantly, I let him in to my study bedroom and he introduced himself as an Indonesian student. He practiced meditation, he said, and he had been asked by his Guide to talk to me and help with some challenges that I was facing. I was rather incredulous but convinced. How exactly did he know my name?

Anantha and I actually became firm friends from that point forward. He really did know a lot about me for someone I had just met and that seemed both mysterious and alluring. He tried to help me understand that I was a ‘sensitive’ and that this sensitivity meant that I was open to all the flotsam and jetsam of the astral world. He also told me that my uncontrolled reaction – pure fear – was attracting things from that realm that I was probably better off without. He started to teach me some psychic self defence methods that were useful but the problem was that at the smallest hint of any phenomenon, I became a total wreck and fear possessed me completely.

In order to help me overcome this deep-seated fear, he suggested that it might help if I could share a controlled experience with him. Sitting me down in a comfortable position, he asked me to close my eyes and relax. Peeking out of the corner of my eye I watched him do likewise. Suddenly, I was with him in a stone tunnel, it seemed to go on for a great distance and as it did so, it slowly curved around so that you could not see where the tunnel went. What I could see though, was the brightest light I have ever seen. It filled the tunnel with golden light but its source was always just around the bend in the tunnel so that it could not actually be seen directly. The light began to fill me with laughter. It made me feel very happy, happier than I had ever felt and happier than anyone has any right to feel. I began to laugh out loud and as I did so, tears of joy sprang from my closed eyes. As I laughed an odd thing happened. My laughter seemed to become magnified thousands of times and to descend in pitch until I realized that this was not my laughter anymore but someone or something else’s laughter. The laughter permeated throughout my entire being so that everything was laughter and golden light and I knew then that I was in the presence of God.

When I finally came out of the trance that I had found myself in, Anantha was already sitting opposite me with a smile on his face and a questioning look in his eyes.

“You see, He is always there for you,” he explained. “There is no need to be frightened. All you have to do is trust in Him.”

As I discovered on several occasions since then, a wonderful experience like that quickly fades just as the memory of a dream fades. At the time that it happens and shortly afterwards, it feels as if it should surely stay with you forever, but it fades just the same as consciousness returns to normality. And, with its fading away so too the newly found and almost grasped confidence went with it and as Anantha left, I was ashamed to feel just as frightened as I had been before.

Anantha did help me a lot though. Through slow perseverance he got me to a state that I could best describe as the toleration of fear. He was also someone that I could share my thoughts and experiences without fear of reproach or that look of horror as your confidant realizes that you might well be a total freak. Unfortunately, he left the college at the end of my first year returning to Indonesia and I never heard from him again.

If you enjoyed this story you will also enjoy my novel – The Last Observer – great price on Kindle all winter!

The Last Supper

Here is another true and strange tale of the paranormal. I will post a new strange true story each day so don’t miss them.

At the beginning of my second year of college, I moved into a flat in West Bromwich. It was quite a distance from the University but it was the only thing I could find that I could afford. There was a bus ride into Birmingham and so I just had to get used to the idea of commuting.

At some point I had acquired a very large paper poster of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. I really liked the painting and would often spend time studying the detail of the picture. It hung proudly on the main wall of the flat.

One evening, I went out and ended up at a party. I met a girl there who was an art student. We got talking and I mentioned that I wrote poetry and song lyrics she talked to me about how she was expected to paint and create a group of art items around a theme for a project. Somehow, we arrived at the idea, that perhaps she would use my poetry for that. The only thing left to do was for her to review the poems and so we made arrangements for her to visit the following Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, when it finally arrived, I tried to tidy and clean the flat. I was quite keen to impress her if the truth be told. I even went out and bought a few small cakes from the bakery and spent a small fortune on some decent instant coffee. She duly arrived and she sat opposite me across a small table and in between munching on the cakes, she began to read some of my poetry . At once, she spotted the theme that we had discussed and that had initially piqued her interest – fear, ghosts, astral plane and so on.

“Why do you write so many on that set of topics,” she asked.

I tried my best to explain. I told her about the Cavalier ghost, the activities at my house that had followed me to West Bromwich, about my interest in understanding it all and my avid reading of books on magic and the esoteric.

She laughed. “That’s a load of bloody nonsense,” she giggled.

To be honest, I was a bit angered by that reaction. She sits there, reading my innermost secrets in those poems and when I explain what motivated them she laughs!

“No, it isn’t nonsense. Not at all,” I said firmly.

“Of course, it is. There are no such things as ghosts.” She said matter of factly. “Magic is something done on stage by people using trickery.”

“No, you are wrong.”

“Prove it,” she said.

Those two words – Prove it – Damn it, I would try. I was pretty angry at having my intelligence questioned and being insulted by a person who had plainly never experienced anything at all unusual. Prove it Indeed.

I began mentally repeating the words “Make something happen – prove it to her.” I didn’t really expect anything to happen to be honest. I had not really ever tried to make something happen as to be honest, I was too scared of what might happen myself to try. Anger and indignation, pride and ego this time however, motivated me to try. There was no technique, no magic words, just a deep-seated will driven by anger to make her eat those words.

“I will,” I said forcefully.

To my utter amazement, the windows behind me suddenly rattled and with a loud cracking noise, blew wide open. A rush of air entered the flat blowing her hair back and scattering the pile of poems all around the room. Her eyes, probably like mine, widened in total shock and awe. Then, the piece de resistance, the huge paper Leonardo Da Vinci Last Supper picture, pinned to the wall with pins, suddenly billowed off from that wall behind her, passed over her head and landed on the coffee table in front of her. It actually flew against the wind from the window to get there.

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There was a moments silence as she surveyed and computed what had just occurred. White as a sheet, she leapt to her feet, clutched her belongings and ran out of the door. I never saw her again.

I too was shocked. Actually scared silly might be more accurate.

I really do not know what happened that afternoon. Did I really cause that to happen or was it simply just a freakish coincidence that at the moment I willed something to happen, a strong wind blew open the windows of the flat. It had never happened before and it never happened again. I guess I will never know. It was however, a long time before I ever tried to work magic again.

If you enjoyed this story check out the My Haunted Life series on Kindle.

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