Best of Cincinnati Awards

I am thrilled and humbled to discover that I have been nominated for several City Beat “Best of Cincinnati” awards! I have been nominated in the following categories:

Religious Leader
Massage Therapist
Local Actress
Local Author

It really is super to be acknowledged in such a way. If you’d like to cast your votes, you can visit the site here . There are lots of great categories to vote in, too, so don’t be shy. Cincinnati is a terrific city, so let’s support all the wonderful people, places, and events we have!

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Blessings to you all!

Monday Message from Merlin 1-25-10

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Greetings to each and every one of you, my fellow seekers, my brothers and sisters in the Light! It has been some time since I have been able to be with you in this way, and I am happy to speak through my beloved Rose to bring you a message of hope and love this night. I am Merlin, and I have watched from afar as events in your world have unfolded in the past few weeks. How sad and upsetting to see the devastation of the beautiful island of Haiti and the suffering of the beloved souls who reside there. When these things happen, many ask the questions, “Why? Are they being punished? How can the Divine allow such suffering in the world?” There are many answers to these questions, my special ones, and many in humanity have a difficult time accepting the reasons. As my Rose likes to say, “It is hard to wrap our minds around these concepts.” There are issues of Earth and environmental healing happening in this instance. There are issues of group karma–and remember that karma does not equate with punishment, it equates with balance and equilibrium. There are issues here of awareness that must be brought to the surface of humankind’s understanding at this time, awareness of the needs of communities of people who have been overlooked for so long by richer, more powerful cultures. All of these, and other layers of meaning, are at the core of this event, and meditating on these ideas will bring you to a deeper understanding of the lessons for all that are involved.

But still, there is hope. There is love. There is compassion and beauty and wisdom that is the natural by-product of this terrible event. And it is in this energy of ultimate, Divine love that we must reside. This awareness will bring comfort, guidance, strength, and enlightenment to those who trod this path. Questions are always good, and yet, as I tell Rose, they mostly lead to more questions. The best teachers of the physical world were and are the ones who, when asked a question, answer it with another. Why do teachers do this? It is not to make you crazy! It is, indeed, to make you think–to force you to expand and grow and stretch, as a new seedling does as it seeks the sun. Do you not seek the Light of progression? You do! So, then, you must ask your questions and find your answers. I, like all spirit teachers, will help to guide you, but I can’t provide all the answers. What would you learn then except laziness? I do not reprimand you, dear ones, never think it! But I do encourage you to find these answers yourself. Read great teachers and what they have to say about such matters. Delve into the depths of your soul and explore your own fears and frustrations. Ask for help from your own guides and teachers. As you do this, you will begin to see a glimmer of Light, and this will encourage you to keep excavating. The greatest source of gold is hidden deep within the dirt. Your greatest treasures–your greatest truths–are hidden, too, deep within your soul. The only way to find these nuggets is to tunnel deep within. This is what magick truly is. But that is another topic all together!

And so, this night, beloved ones, send healing to Haiti and her people. Encircle them in the White Light of Creator that transmutes all darkness into positive, productive, beautiful energy. Know that as you do this, you also welcome this Light into your own being, and it transforms you, allowing you the space you need for deeper understanding. Let the healing peace of the Divine wash over and through you like a tidal wave of love. Heal your own heart as you heal the woes of your fellow beings, and know that this small action has great and powerful repercussions.

As always, I send you love, peace, and many blessings. Thank you for allowing me to serve.

Merlin

Book Release Party Tonight!

I’m very excited about the book release party tonight for Ask a Medium: Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions About the Spirit World. The party will kick off tonight (Friday, January 22, 2010) at 7 p.m. with an hour-long discussion and question-and-answer session about the book. Starting at 8 p.m., I’ll begin selling and signing books, and my terrific office partner, Joanne Franchina, will serve refreshments. I hope to have my husband take pictures of the event, so hopefully, I’ll post those soon.

If you’re in the Greater Cincinnati area, come on out for the festivities! The address of my office:

10901 Reed Hartman Highway
Blue Ash, Ohio 45242

I’d love to meet you there!

If you can’t make it tonight but can get to Hamilton, Ohio, tomorrow, I’m doing a lecture about the book and signing copies at Maiden, Mother, Crone (a small metaphysical shop) beginning at 1 p.m. The store is located at 343 South B Street, Hamilton, OH 45013-3311, and their telephone number is (513) 737-0059.‎ It will be great to connect with even more people there!

Happy Friday to all! I send you all love, peace, and blessings.

Dear Blog…

Dear Blog (and beloved blog readers),

I’m so sorry I’ve been neglecting you lately. There’s been a lot going on in my life. Some good things, some great things, some worrisome things–in a nutshell, life has been happening, and it’s been blowing past me at the speed of light.

Here are some good and great things that have happened:

1. I was cast in a play! I am playing the wonderful role of elderly German agent Lillian in Fairfield Footlighers’ production of I Hate Hamlet. I am very excited to be working on a creative project, and so far, I am loving every moment of it. I’ve been feeling a creative void recently, and acting always helps to fill that up for me. As a director, I’m also enjoying watching this production come together, and I admire the way Heidi, our director, handles everything with her no-nonsense, fun approach. I can’t wait to go to rehearsal, which I take as a very good sign. Maybe some of you will be able to come out and see the show, which opens on February 19. Ah, theatre–how I adore you!

2. Our son was awarded a $20,000 scholarship to Roger Bacon High School for the next four years. This is a huge accomplishment, and we are bursting with pride over the news. We are confident that both of our sons will do well at this institution, and we look forward to working with them towards more great achievements when they begin high school in the fall. Having the decision of where they’ll attend high school out of the way also relieves a tremendous burden from our list of worries. We’ve still got to get through the rest of this school year, though!

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3. My new book, Ask a Medium: Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions About the Spirit World, is now available for sale! I am very excited to have this book available to readers. I’ve tried to compile the questions that I’m most frequently asked by clients and other seekers concerning the spirit world, what happens when we die, why ghosts and spirits do certain things, and other sundry metaphysical topics, and I try to provide answers based on research and my own experiences as a medium. I hope readers will truly benefit from this book. And, in other good news: if you’re in the Cincinnati area, my office partner, Joanne, and I are hosting a ASK A MEDIUM discussion and booksigning on Friday, January 22. Starting at 7 p.m., I will talk about the book and answer audience questions. At 8 p.m., the book sales and signings will begin, and we will serve refreshments and socialize as well. Please come if you can, and bring your family and friends for a fun and enlightening evening. For the address for the event, visit my website.

3. The snow is finally melting. Enough said about that.

4. My husband and sons are healthy. Really, that’s important enough to write about, I think, because I’ve been down the unhealthy road before, and yes, I am grateful.

I’ve decided after looking at this list that the positives far outweigh the negatives. Life is good. I’m not even going to discuss the not-so-good things, thereby giving them no energy to thrive. In light of this, you’d think I’d have more time for the blogosphere, right?

Well, I’m going to try to make more time. It’s nice to sometimes gather all of my thoughts together and put out a post. It’s hard, though, to always come up with topics to write about. I don’t want to keep re-hashing the same old stuff.

So, if you have suggestions of what you’d like to see on the blog or information you’d like to read about, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what it is.

Dearly beloved blog…friends….I’ll hopefully see you again soon.

xox

Reading List 2009

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I am an avid reader. Every year, I keep track of all of the books I’ve read throughout that time period. I break them down into fiction and nonfiction, and I was surprised this past year to see how little nonfiction I read. I usually spend a lot of time reading other books about mediumship and various esoteric topics. Apparently, this past year, I needed an escape into a fictional universe more than I needed to learn something new!

Anyway, here is my reading list for 2009.

Fiction

Isabella Moon, Laura Benedict, January. ***

The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry, January, ****

House, Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, January, *

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman, January, ****

Need, Carrie Jones, January-February, ***

Coraline, Neil Gaiman, February, ***1/2

The Likeness, Tana French, February, ***1/2

Atonement, Ian McEwan, February-March, ***1/2

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, Neil Gaiman, March, ***1/2

Stardust, Neil Gaiman, March, ***

M is for Magic, Neil Gaiman, March, ***

Vanishing Acts, Jodi Picoult, March, ***

Change of Heart, Jodi Picoult, March-April, ***1/2

The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes, Neil Gaiman, April, ***

The Sweet In-Between, Sheri Reynolds, April, ***

Between Here and April, Deborah Copaken Kogan, April, **1/2

Serendipity, Louise Shaffer, April, **

Wake, Lisa McMann, April, **1/2

Fade, Lisa McMann, April, ***

Precious, Sandra Novack, May, ***

Romancing the Dead, Tate Hallaway, June, ***

The Sandman: The Doll’s House, Neil Gaiman, June, ***

Lady Macbeth, Susan Fraser King, June, *** (audio book)

The Sandman: Dream Country, Neil Gaiman, June, ** ½

The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell, July, *** ½

Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, August, ***

Loving Frank, Nancy Horan, August, ****

Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris, September, ***

Life of Pi, Yann Martel, September, *** ½

White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi, September ***

Black Ships, Jo Graham, October, ***1/2

The Sandman: Season of Mists, Neil Gaiman, October, ****

The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb, November, ***1/2

Handle with Care, Jodi Picoult, November-December, ***

Dexter by Design, Jeff Lindsay, December, ***

Prayers for Sale, Sandra Dallas, December, ***

Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby, December, ***

Nonfiction

The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero, William Kalush and Larry Sloman, May-June, ***

Handwriting Analysis: Putting it to Work for You, Andrea McNichol, October, ***

Glynis Has Your Number, Glynis McCants, October, ***

As you can see, I read a lot of Neil Gaiman this year and enjoyed it immensely. If you’re looking for something with magical overtones, try his The Graveyard Book, which won the Newberry Medal. It’s for young people, but I found it to be engaging, scary in parts, and utterly delightful.

Another book that had some interesting esoteric connections: The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry. The story is set in Salem, Massachusetts, and revolves around a young woman whose aunt reads fortunes for people in pieces of lace. It was a thoroughly engrossing story, with a twist ending and a lovely lyrical style. I also found out that Wiccan High Priestess Laurie Cabot was teaching lace reading courses in October in Salem, and Ms. Barry was going to be signing books at the event. I’d even planned to go, but when my husband lost his job in the late spring, it seemed it wasn’t meant to be. No matter–you’ll still love the book.

If you like faeries or supernatural fiction, you might try Need, by Carrie Jones. Another work for young adults, I was delighted by the story, the realistic characters, and the exciting pace of the book. In the same vein, I enjoyed Lisa McMann’s Wake and Fade, although her writing style took a little getting used to, especially in the first book. I look forward, though, to more work by these two talented ladies.

For a story revolving around faith and what it might mean in our lives, I recommend The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. A challenging tale about scientists and priests finding life on another planet, it took me a while to get into it, but the effort was rewarded by rich characterizations and a compelling, emotional conclusion. I’m so happy my friend Kristy recommended this book to me!

For anyone out there who likes “chick lit” or fun Wiccan characters, you must try Tate Halloway’s series of magickal romance novels. The one I read this past year, Romancing the Dead, is the third in her series of adventures with Garnet Lacey, a wonderfully delightful Witch dating a vampire and working in a New Age store. These books are so lighthearted and humorous, they’re an easy way to pass a weekend in a cloud of fantasy and fun. I dare you not to love them.

Finally, in the nonfiction sector, I did enjoy The Secret Life of Houdini, recommended to me by my (skeptical) friend, Ron. He is a big Houdini fan and always seems to find it enthralling that, as a Spiritualist, I don’t hate the famous magician. Houdini was well-known for his passion for exposing fraudulent mediums during the height of the Spiritualist movement. I certainly don’t hate him–I think Houdini wanted to believe as badly as Mulder on The X-Files. He could just never find the absolute proof of the afterlife and the ability to communicate with Spirit that his logical mind (and chosen profession) demanded. I enjoyed reading about his life and his work–he was obviously a very talented, charming, charismatic man. I did not appreciate the allusions in the book that Spiritualists killed Houdini, but that rumor had been around for a long time, and I can’t really do anything to dispel it. Nevertheless, The Secret Life of Houdini was quite fascinating.

So, what books did you read last year that really stuck with you? I’m interested in any and all titles, no matter if they’re fiction, nonfiction, esoteric…I just love to read!

Honoring Two Special People

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Fourteen years ago today, I met two of the most amazing people on this planet. Better still, I got to be their mom! It’s hard for me to believe that my babies have grown into young men, but I’m proud to say they are fine young men, and I have loved watching them learn and grow. Everything I do since becoming a mother revolves around them–their happiness and success are always foremost in my mind. But in return, they remind me of the most important things in life: love, joy, truth, and, above all, laughter. So, in honor of them, enjoy this video, which includes a very funny word in our household: “Ni!”

The Knights Who Say Ni!

Happy birthday, Thing 1 and Thing 2. I love you more than you can possibly know.

Musings About 2010

Well, it seems the start of the new year just passed me by. I spent all day on New Year’s Eve in bed with a stomach bug and barely made it to our New Year’s Eve plans with two other families. I had already done quite a bit of thinking about my upcoming year and the goals I wanted to set, but I didn’t get a chance to share any of that process or experience with anyone else. (Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Does everyone really want to know exactly what I was considering? Isn’t that the argument for the mediocrity of personal blogs in general? But I digress.) Now that I have a moment of free time, I thought I’d sort through some of those thoughts here.

One of my favorite blogues (her spelling, not mine) is written by Lunaea . In this post, she describes a New Year’s Eve tradition where she collects a bunch of “theme” words and puts them all in a bag, choosing one (or more) as her themes for the upcoming year. She also links to a list of wonderful words to start with. I was so delighted by this idea that I printed out the list and decided to do this myself, along with setting my goals for 2010. I always try to set positive goals in the following areas of my life: Health, Career/Finances, Creativity, Family, Community, and Spiritual Practice. This year, I tried to keep my goals simple and straightforward, ones that I could meet with joy every day. Here they are:

Health: More regular exercise. More walks in nature during good weather. Drink more water. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eat less sugar. Receive more massages.

Career/Finances: Develop online curriculum for mediumship development. Create downloadable e-book for website (subject unknown). Develop marketing strategies. Set goals for client numbers and income per week. Generate new ideas for book projects. Create new audiobooks and meditation CDs. Set up business as LLC.

Creativity: Perform in at least one theatre production. Begin scrapbooking. Do more writing for fun instead of just for obligation.

Family: With boys: Do more listening. Ask more questions. Initiate conversation. Make time together a priority. With husband: Regular date nights. Be more affectionate. Be more appreciative. Be a better listener.  With Dad: Be more compassionate. Be more honest.

Community: Lead more classes at church. Develop more interactive activities for blog.

Spiritual Practice: Spend more time in meditation and prayer. Create and perform more ritual. Go outdoors more for connection experiences. Invest more time and energy in Goddess/moon energy work. Work more with crystal energies for communication and healing.

I feel good about these goals and hope to keep them at the forefront of my mind–that’s really the challenge of facing every day, isn’t it? It can be very easy to get sidetracked.

In performing the word exercise as suggested by Lunaea, I decided to concentrate on pulling three words as themes for my 2010. I asked Spirit to bring words to me that I could work with, use creatively, and experience deeply — words that would teach me important lessons about myself, those around me, and the world on emotional, physical, and spiritual levels. Here are the words I chose:

Catharsis

Abundance

Light

As my first experience with these words, I looked the first two up in the dictionary, wrote down those definitions, and then brainstormed other ideas that came to my mind. Here is what I came up with:

Catharsis: purging; purifying of emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through art; the effect of tragic drama on an audience (Aristotle); alleviation of fear, problems, and complexes by bringing them to consciousness and giving them expression–how can I allow my emotions to flow more freely? Am I afraid to express my emotions? Can I allow big emotions (fear, anger) to have expression? Can I trust myself and those around me to handle these emotions?

Abundance: a great supply; plenty; wealth; prosperity–how can I achieve abundance? Being grateful for abundance in my life key. Make an abundance vision board as creative project. How can I share abundance with others? Where is my abundance (talents, time, etc.)? What do I already have an abundance of? What would I like more of in my life?

Light: Reminded of Marianne Williamson quote, “It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” This resonates deeply for me at this time! Other ideas: being in the light, the sun, etc. Feeling light-hearted. The concept of weightlessness (lightness). How do these things apply to me? How can I be a brighter light? How can I release my fear (catharsis?) to bring more abundance and light to my life?

I am excited in many ways to face 2010–and I’m a bit frightened. There are changes afoot–I feel them in my bones, and change can be scary. Even as a professional psychic, I still don’t know everything the future holds, and I am especially foggy about my own path ahead. But setting these goals and working with these words, given lovingly by Spirit, allows me to start from a peaceful and safe place. It gives me something to focus on, ideas on which to concentrate my considerable energy, and that seems like a very positive thing.

So how about you? Do you set goals for your New Year? Any you’d like to share? Sometimes it’s nice to voice them so that others can encourage and support you.

No matter what, I pray that 2010 brings bright blessings to you and yours.

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