Jump Girl Excerpt: The Language of Spirit
The Language of Spirit
One of the things I’ve learned in my years of spirit work is that the dead do not all communicate in the same way. Some communicate so clearly that it’s like having a conversation with a living person. I hear their words in my mind and pick up on the nuances of their personality from the way they put their sentences together. Others hardly say a thing, simply showing me images and occasionally throwing out a word or two.
Still others communicate in a layered fashion, spreading scent, sound, imagery, and knowing. It’s always a crapshoot; I don’t know how someone will communicate until they do. What I do know is that how they communicate as a dead person tells me a lot about what kind of person they were in life. I know who was gregarious and who was meek. I know who said little but delivered much when they did; who talked with their hands while smoking cigarette after cigarette. The ways in which the dead choose to communicate are as complex as those of the living.
I should say that not all mediums experience spirit the same way. Messages can be projected through all of our senses. I experience them that way: I see, hear, feel, and smell spirits, in addition to receiving visual images from them through my third eye, like watching video clips in my mind. Most mediums are skilled in one or two methods of communication. The number of ways one can receive messages does not determine how good they will be at it. Someone gifted solely with the ability to hear may be fantastic at it and might receive detailed conversations. As I did more séances, I began to notice that introverted spirits were more likely to communicate through imagery, not so much in externally visible images shown to me outside my mind but rather in scenes playing out on the video screen of my third eye.
An introvert needs time to respond in words, not because they’re slow or ignoring us but because they need time to find the words for the images and emotions that fill their mind. Introverts tended to show me detailed images of their homes, what they looked like at thirty-five, their favorite car, buildings, places, jewelry, and other artifacts and amulets. The images they showed me came from my mind and thus could not be exact duplicates of the memories they held. It was as if I had a document folder in my mind that they could search through rapidly for pictures that were similar to the memories they held. Then my description of the images allowed the living to know who and what I was talking about. The similarities between my descriptions and the spirit’s reality are often remarkable but not exact. This is because of the way I communicate. I struggle with seeing things I’ve never seen before, and I find it easier to look at something at least similar. Introverts are also more likely to leaven their interaction with emotion. Their reserved nature is detail oriented and emotionally vivid, and these qualities carry through in their communication. When communicating with spirits who were introverted in life, I know exactly how they felt about something. I know how deeply they loved and where their sadness resided. Extroverts are more likely to talk or to use a combination of talking, imagery, and strong body language. I often recognize the facial expressions, body posture, and hand gestures of extroverts. They love to tell stories, and I often have to slow them down because they talk so fast that they get ahead of themselves.
I have incorporated these teachings of spirit into my divination work as well. When someone comes for to me for a reading about their life and I see that an introverted person is involved in their dilemma, I began advising them to say what is bothering them and then to give the introverted person time to think about it before discussing it together. People were able to understand that when their partner said, “I don’t know,” “I don’t care,” and “It’s up to you” when asked for a spontaneous answer to a deep question, it was often because they had not yet processed the thought from emotion to words. People who were open to metaphysical thought and belief when alive are often better at communicating when dead than people who lacked such beliefs. Interestingly, the nature of one’s religious belief is less important than the strength of the belief. People with strong religious beliefs are often quite good at communicating, even when their religion may not have approved of such things.
There is an understanding that comes with crossing over. They’re able to see that spirit communication is not unholy, but a means of healing. We’re not conjuring up evil spirits to plague our enemies; we’re helping people find closure when they have been separated by the veil of death. They understand why they are not in heaven (or hell) but instead in a purgatory of resolution. I have had many, many Catholic grandmothers—the sort who had holy-water dispensers and statues of Mary in the bedroom— come through in spirit to speak to those they have left behind.
Spirits often use symbolism to communicate. The whole process is woven like a tapestry, with each dialogue creating its own unique pattern. Some spirits go heavy on the symbolism; some stand in front of me or pull up a seat, acting as if they were among the living. Some play music in the background, and others waft their favorite perfume under my nose to make sure I recognize their scent. Their scents are recognizable to those who love them. They can smell like doughnuts, cigarettes, the lilac bush in their yard, perfume, hair spray, or the inside of a barn. The sense of smell is often the easiest way for them to communicate with the ones they love. Often people will report smelling cigarettes in their house even though no one in the house smokes, or the smell of baking when the kitchen hasn’t been used all day.
When I first got back in contact with my father after our years of separation, he told me he was starting to smell like Grammy Brown. He said, “I don’t know what it is, but sometimes I get into my truck, and I swear I smell just like Gram.” I laughed and said, “You don’t smell like Gram, Dad. You are smelling Gram.” It is not overly difficult for a spirit to project their image into our world, but it’s not easy for most of us to see that image, for reasons I’ve already stated. It’s important to remember that spirits live in another dimension. When we stare directly at them, we look through them. A medium is simply a conduit, allowing the spirit world to gain access to energy needed for contact. We are all mediums to a certain degree—some people more than others.