Lifting the veil on the psychic experience

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With Halloween around the corner, we are constantly bombarded with the images of spirits, ghosts and horror movies about the paranormal. To some, the idea of the supernatural is pure fiction — just folklore used to provide a quick scare to children. To others, however, it represents a way of life and a livelihood.

The notion of psychics and mediums as a way to predict the future and get in contact with loved ones from beyond the grave has become prominent in society.

With hit reality TV shows like Ancient Aliens, Ghost Hunters, Long Island Medium and the scary-successful Paranormal Activity series, the supernatural has moved from the fringes of society and may act as a ritualistic practice reserved for the religious and spiritual to becoming mainstream entertainment. But is it all reality TV smoke-and-mirrors and special effects? Or does the ability to connect to the spirit world beyond us exist?

Seeking some insight into the world of spiritual connection and with the hope of channeling the spirits of my dead relatives, I visited Laurie Voigt, a Laurier Alumni, and Doreen Ford; both charming and charismatic psychic mediums at Beyond The Veil in Waterloo, ready to experience a perspective shift towards the paranormal.

The ability to gain access to the beyond is not something one can learn.

“You spend your lifetime with this … wondering why you know things others don’t and why you see things other don’t see,” Voigt said.

When attempts at dismissing her abilities to connect with the beyond proved fruitless, Voigt embraced her gift, becoming certified in Reiki, hypnosis, spiritual cleansing and mediumship, taking courses in churches and with various associations.

After taking these classes, the spirits would follow Voigt home.

“I’d go home with spirits and they would invade my sleep. It felt like I was losing my mind … I had to set ground rules so I could only hear one voice at a time.”

Excited by this, I walked into a dimly lit room with blackout curtains to cover the windows, images of a fox and ram adorned the wall and we settled around a large round table with crystal balls and stones lining the edges.Jumping into my medium session, Ford and Voigt began with a prayer to the spirit guides, asking for their direction and protection throughout our reading, ending with a call for the white light to provide its love and protection over us.

To begin, I hand over my wallet, which Ford grasps tightly. To effectively channel the energies of the person being read a personal item is needed.

“We usually do this in people’s homes surrounded by personal objects,” Voigt said.

Voigt and Ford closed their eyes. The process of conjuring up spirits involved them sensing the energies around the room and asking questions about thoughts or intuitions that come into their mind. With me saying yes or no, they can tune into a present spirit like one would tune a radio.

“Do you know a Richard or a Charles” Voigt asked.

I did not. “I’m getting a connection to Sudbury,” Voigt continued, there was no connection; I’ve never been to Sudbury.

“I’m seeing flowing veils and fabric around you.”

Again, I’ve never had an association with flowing fabric.

This goes on for 10 minutes with no luck. None of their intuitions managed to click with me. The radio frequency didn’t seem to be strong today.

Dismayed, Voigt mentions that she’s unable to pick up on any of my energies in the rooms and the conversation moves over to their past experiences.

The duo recalled a time when the owner of a failing restaurant had called them to do a spiritual cleansing of the store’s basement.

“The owner was told not to remove the mirrors on the walls since they were portals to the other world … We go in to see the mirrors on the floors and we can feel this tense energy. One of our seven person crew goes into trans-mediumship, the spirit is talking to her and starts screaming and yelling at us in a man’s voice and she goes out of control,” said Voigt.

“We didn’t know what to make of her,” added Ford.

They describe the energy as suffocating.

“I looked over at one of the mirrors behind Doreen and there was a large carving knife that appeared on top of it out of nowhere.

It felt like either that knife was going to fly into one of us, or we’d grab the knife and start stabbing each other,” Voigt recounted. Thankfully no one was hurt.

We tred to continue the medium session with no luck. None of their intuitions resonated with me.Was it performance anxiety on their end? Was I just a difficult person to read? I came into the session with an open mind, ready for anything to happen. Ready to be convinced that the connection between our world and the spiritual world did exist.

However, in my eyes, the evidence has yet to be seen and I remain skeptical.

Paranormal experiences are very individual and though I remain open to the idea of the supernatural, I suppose I have not yet been convinced it exists.

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