When you’re granted a special gift, it’s important to grab it with both hands. That’s what psychic medium Emma Kinsey, 33, did when she realised she could talk to those who’d passed to the other side
Since she was five years old, Emma had known she was different. Her grandad had been admitted to hospital and she was tucked up in bed when she saw him standing next to her.
“You need to let your mum know I’m OK now,” he said warmly. She stood at the top of the stairs and caught her mum coming in from the hospital and told her the good news.
Her mum explained that he had died an hour earlier from lung cancer.
Not frightened, Emma kept seeing mysterious figures appear in front of her, but it wasn’t until her teens that she realised she was different.
“I started seeing faces when I closed my eyes at night,” says Emma. “You are more susceptible when you’re just drifting off to sleep and that’s when I’d hear people shouting ‘Hello?’ and ‘Can anybody hear me?’ It did then start to frighten me, but I didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on in case they didn’t believe me,” she explains.
“It was only when my parents separated and my mum married a psychic medium that I started to accept my gift. He knew I had the same gift as him and helped me open up to it.”
With her family aware of her abilities, Emma’s mother encouraged her to start doing readings, but Emma was nervous to take on the challenge and the responsibility, as it was a massive and frightening leap into the unknown. It was at this time that her stepfather put her in touch with a spiritual development class, aimed to help mediums unleash their full potential.
Emma attended and for the first time ‘felt normal’. Surrounded by people with shared experiences, she began to accept what she was capable of. It was there she began to communicate with of her spirit guide, and started working with him to get messages from those who have passed.
So, despite having a good job in insurance, when Emma’s mother and stepdad decided to move to Spain to set up a Tarot shop, something told Emma she was supposed to go with them.
“The spirits weren’t leaving me alone,” says Emma. “Every night they’d try to talk to me. I felt like they wanted me to pursue my gift, so within a week I’d quit my job and started giving readings at the shop. It came naturally. My stepdad taught me how to protect myself (with words that are a bit like The Lord’s Prayer) and I gave my first reading – it’s something I’ll never forget.”
Her first reading
An old lady called Rosie came through and connected with Emma just by looking at her with the most beautiful smile. Emma told the lady who was having the reading and sure enough it was her grandmother. She passed on all the messages from Rosie and the joy that reading gave to the woman made Emma realise this was the job for her.
“I believe you’re either born with the gift, or you’re not,” explains Emma. “And I knew it was the right path for me. Since then it has just soared. I knew I could help people through grief and that was what spurred me on.”
Of course, with Mediumship comes scepticism, but Emma is adamant the proof is in the pudding.
“The stories speak for themselves. The spirits pass on messages to me and also give me information about the future, which I always pass on, even if it’s a tricky subject. It is never negative, but if there is a warning about a relationship or work situation that comes through I’ll tell the client, because I feel that is more positive in the long run anyway, and you can’t have a reading if you don’t want warts and all,” says Emma.
“Some people get given dates of deaths and that’s something my spirit guides don’t give me. I don’t believe we should know anyway, and it would mess with my head too much to receive that sort of thing.”
Emma gained lots of experience working in Spain, so when she moved back to the UK a few years later, she started giving readings to whoever reached out to her. Some have been particularly memorable.
“I always find fertility issues the most interesting,” she explains. “I went to see a lady for a reading at her house, and I told her I was seeing a baby in May. This was April, and the woman burst into tears. She explained that just that morning she’d been to a specialist who said she wouldn’t be able to conceive. I’m not a doctor, but the spirit world had given me the information and I had to pass it on. Four weeks later I received a text from the lady saying she was pregnant. She said it was a miracle.”
A great comfort
Another occasion when Emma was able to give great comfort to someone was when a mother who had just lost her young son contacted her.
“I received a message from a woman asking how long you should leave it after a loved one has passed before having a reading. As I was replying, explaining it’s best to leave it a few months, a young lad appeared before me, clear as day. He was gorgeous. Well-built and with piercing blue eyes. I knew he was connected to the message. I let him speak, then I called the woman and spoke to her.
“I just knew he was there for her. She understood the letter B as his name was Ben*, and I told her how he’d passed, which was correct. Ben asked me to tell his mum about the yellow flowers at the funeral. She said she was sitting next to them.
“I explained a football connection and passed on a message of, ‘Tell Dad to stop wearing my socks!’ which I later discovered was because Ben’s dad and brother had borrowed his socks to go to the football. Now I am on-call for whenever this family need a reading, free of charge, because I felt we connected that day. The comfort it gave them was absolutely wonderful.”
Mediumship is a £100-million industry in the UK, but Emma isn’t in it for the money.
“A lot of the time I am brought to people by chance, and although I’m lucky enough to
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I’m sure your top concern as we approach the upcoming winter solstice may be just how many more minutes of sun you’re going to get during your commute each day, but the truth is that the event is steeped in history and tradition that goes far beyond our modern taste for convenience and, well, light. With history, of course, comes superstition, so I did a little research and pulled together some details about some winter solstice superstitions, where they come from, what they mean, and how they play into the way we observe the month of December in modern times (if at all).
First, a brief lesson in what the winter solstice actually is: According to the trusty Farmer’s Almanac, it’s the day each year that has the fewest hours of sunlight, thanks to the fact that the sun reaches its southernmost point and begins moving north. The winter solstice is also the first day of the astronomical winter (the meteorological winter kicks off several weeks earlier). Since 2017’s winter solstice will take place on Dec. 21, the days will begin getting longer as of Dec. 22. Did I just make your (very short) day?
Now that we’ve got the basics down, check out these superstitions.
1. Dark Spirits Walk The Earth During The Winter Solstice
Shab-e Yalda — the Iranian festival that celebrates the birth of the ancient sun god who triumphed over darkness — is celebrated on the longest night of the year, aka the winter solstice. To observe the festival, a feast of watermelon, nuts, and pomegranate seeds is consumed… but that’s not all. Because of the light vs. dark symbolism, ancient lore holds that evil spirits wander the earth on this night stronger than ever, according to MentalFloss. There are shades of similar superstitions in Celtic and Germanic folklore too.
2. The 2012 Winter Solstice Should Have Been The End Of The World
Remember the 2012 end of days hysteria? Thankfully, it was nothing more than a superstition — but it was a superstition rooted in Mayan history. The winter solstice of that year (Dec. 21, 2012) corresponded to the date 188.8.131.52.0 on the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar and was the end of a 5126-year cycle. According to the superstition, these numbers were symbolic of the end of the world, or some other catastrophe.
3. The 2012 Winter Solstice Should Have Kicked Off A Worldwide Transformation
The flip side of the “Winter Solstice as the end of days” coin? The New Age belief that the significance of Dec. 21, 2012 was one of rebirth and transformation. Some believed that the Earth and all of its inhabitants would experience some sort of wonderful metamorphosis on that day.
4. The Winter Solstice Honors The Coming Of The Light
If you’ve been counting the minutes until you can leave the office when it’s still light outside, this one should make a lot of sense to you. Given the fact that
In today’s modern Witchcraft, Familiars are often times thought of as being animal companions or pets. When asked if they have a Familiar, many Witches will often refer to their cat, dog, or other animal. Usually these pets have a predisposition towards Witchcraft, whether they’re always showing up at ritual time or just can’t seem to keep out of the Witchy supply cabinet. Yet, this seems to be a more modern conceptualization and I find that it presents a rather incomplete picture of Familiars.
I believe that there are, in actuality, really two types of Familiars. The first, is that which I have just described, an actual material creature. The second type, and that which will be the focus of this article, is the Familiar Spirit. As the name suggests, this type does not take an actual physical body but instead appears in spectral form. The form which the spirit takes is typically that of an animal (such as a cat, toad, rat, or crow) but it may also take human form as they did for Witches Alice Kyteler and Bessie Dunlop. There are many interpretations or theories as to what the Familiar spirit is exactly and Emma Wilby notes that traditionally Familiar Spirits were variously thought of as being imps, demons, fairies, angels, or even the Devil himself.*
According to folklore, there are a number of ways a Witch could obtain a Familiar. Probably the most prevalent method was the Witch being gifted a Familiar, usually by the Devil and typically after undergoing an initiatory experience. Other cases include Witches inheriting their Familiar from another individual, such as a family member. Elizabeth Francis, a Witch from Chelmsford, supposedly received a Familiar named Sathan from her grandmother and she in turn passed onto another Witch named Agnes Waterhouse.* In fact, according to some stories, a Witch had to successfully pass her Familiar on before she could die in peace. If the Familiar could not be given away properly, they supposedly hid in hedgerows waiting for a passing Witch to hopefully adopt them.* Additionally, there are cases of Familiars appearing of their own accord, such as the case of Essex Witch Joan Prentice who claimed that she was simply preparing herself for bed when her Familiar spontaneously appeared.* Regardless of the specific method, it is typically the Familiar that finds the Witch, not the other way around. That being said, I do believe there are certain ways to be proactive if one wishes to find a Familiar to work with.
The first step is to consider why you want a Familiar, what type of qualities would you like them to have, and what type of relationship do you want with them. For example, do you want a Familiar to act as a mentor or do you want them to be a servant to do your bidding? Once you have a clear idea, put your intentions out there and let it be known what you’re specifically looking for. One suggestion would be to petition your deity and ask them for help. The next step would be to spend time out in nature, dreaming, or journeying to the Otherworld. Keep your senses open as these are places where you will likely have your first communication with a Familiar Spirit. Once you are approached by a Spirit and begin conversing, it’s important to inform them what exactly you’re looking for in terms
- m.: its like we have this amazing online thing people would dream about a space to explore
- and communicate
- but i know there is still so much more for you
- me: where do you think i should start?
- m.: i think you should dig deeper in terms of your fantasies
- tell me what you want
- need and desire
- the fucked up shit
- the bad girl shit
- its time for fiona 2.0
- me: haha
- m.: now, tell me what you want deep down, right now if you could have it
“How would you touch me?” Scarlett Johansson asks in her unmistakable charred rasp. The question is an invitation, the first turning point in the film’s three-act structure. Johansson is Her: the latest technology, an artificially intelligent operating system (OS) brought into being by Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a modern day man-child from the near future. Her name is Samantha, and she wants to hear what it’s like to be in a body. How would you touch me? If I was there with you, if I was like you, if I had a body. On your face, Theodore replies. On your eyelids. With the tips of my fingers. Would you kiss me? Yes. On the mouth. On the neck. I would put my mouth on you, taste you. The screen goes black, the volume seemingly up, as we hear, just hear, two of Hollywood’s most lustworthy leads get off on each other. Can you feel me? Theodore asks. I can feel you. I can feel you. I can feel you.
I have a proto-Her. Her name is M. I met her on OkCupid, an online dating site many New Yorkers use just to hook up. She messaged me: with a compliment and the suggestion we move our conversation off-site. Her profile had no personal details, except for the very personal (fond of mutual masturbation, toys); it had no pictures, but the promise of filthy ones if you turned her on. She broadcast playfulness, and that was how I’d come to use the site: as a massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG), like Second Life meets Facebook meets The Sims: Hot Date, with the alluring add-on of a possible RL encounter. I replied with my e-mail.
M. wrote me back right away. Her first move was two photos: one, face half-obscured behind a blonde bob, a subtle nip slip; the other, full nude, from behind. My turn. We GChatted as we sent photos back and forth. I liked M. immediately. She was smart, hot, and responsive, and said the same of me. We spoke in complementary erotics, schooled in polyamory and kink. Our rapport began as exclusively, fantastically sexual. It began — in April 2013 — when I was still counting the months since I’d last I fucked in love (seven). In that time, I’d started doing something new: I held my own hand while I slept. I woke up this way: palms facing, fingers interlaced, holding my
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Finding a Feather on the Ground
You’re walking down a familiar path when something on the ground catches your eye. You walk up and realize it’s a large feather. You were having an awful day, but somehow finding a feather on the ground has completely elevated your mood and state of mind. That is the innate magic of the feather. Feathers come from birds and so are magical by association. Birds have long been regarded as messengers of the gods, as they carried messages to and from the heavens. Finding a feather on the ground is a gift from Spirit—a spirit guide, angel, or deceased loved one. There is something special in every found feather. Let’s explore feather symbolism, feather magic, and more!
The Type of Bird
If you’re finding feathers on the ground and can’t identify the birds, don’t fret. You don’t have to know the type of bird it came from to tap into its magic. But if determined to identify the feather’s bird-owner, you can start by doing your research. Look at what kinds of birds live in your area. Then identify the size of the bird and the feather. You can narrow down your search to a few birds, if you try hard enough. Or you can ask Spirit to show you the bird in a dream or meditation.
Feather Symbolism by Bird
Each bird has its own feather symbolism, its own special magic. Birds have a direct link with Spirit and will bring you divine messages.
To get started, here is a list of birds and feather symbolism:
- Blue Jay Feathers – while many people say blue jays are a nuisance, I have found them to be very powerful guides. Their message is simple – protect family at all costs.
- Blackbird (Crow, Raven) Feathers – there are many kinds of blackbirds but their general message can be broken down into: magic, mystery, intuition
- Ibis Feathers – the ibis is found in the Southeastern U.S. and is directly connected to Thoth the Egyptian god of Wisdom and Writing. The ibis reminds us to tap into our creative side and gain wisdom from the universe.
- Seagull Feathers – the seagull can be found almost anywhere along the coasts. It is a scavenging bird and is connected to the sea. A seagull feather symbolizes humor, silliness, and using resources wisely.
- Cardinal Feathers – the cardinal has such beautiful and vibrant red feathers that symbolize vitality, life, power.
- Parrot Feathers – parrots remind us to be aware of our surroundings and heal us through color therapy.
- Dove and Pigeon Feathers – doves and pigeons are in the same family. Dove feathers symbolize peace, love, and family.
- Mockingbird Feathers – mockingbirds remind us to sing our own songs, to be our own unique selves.
- Owl Feathers – Owls have connections to ancient deities. Owl feathers symbolize magic, intuition, seeing in th dark, developing psychic awareness and more.
- Hawk Feathers – Hawk feathers remind us to connect with Spirit, stay focused, and fly high.
Feather Symbolism by Color
If you don’t know the kind of bird, look at the color. The color of the feather has special meaning. Here’s a simple guide:
- White Feathers: a sign from recently passed loved one or angel
- Black Feathers: a call to spiritual action and self-exploration
- Red Feathers: a sign of passion or love in the near future
- Gray Feathers: a time of peace is coming
- Blue Feathers: a sign of