Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
On Preconceived Pagan/Wiccan Political Affiliations
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
The Lady on the Stairs
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Understanding the Unseen
Article ID: 16023
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 264
Times Read: 7,682
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Author: Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Posted: September 25th. 2018
Times Viewed: 7,682
Belief in spirits, ghosts, and other beings has existed in every culture. We now live in times where a great many people think that scientific knowledge is a direct combatant of magick and the possibility of different existences. Biology and the inner workings of the natural world have always been a love of mine. As a child I would check out library books on every kind of animal I could find and take notes to better understand the world around me.
I am college educated and a published author. Fact and credibility are important to me, but one of the most interesting aspects of biology and life that a great many scientists do not spend enough time on is the simple principal of instinct. The animal world and the human world have become so divided that people seem to forget that we are still just another species of animal.
Those who refuse to jump in line and ignore our instincts, as society encourages us to do, can find a balance between understanding science and nature while also listening to the higher callings that are still elements undefined and difficult to explain in terms of the scientific method (because each individual produces different results through their own experiences and connections) .
The modern age is all about polarization. Here in the US, people pick sides over everything. We seem to be losing our sense of connection to the compromise between “what is” and “what can be”. We are limiting ourselves by turning off our senses and pretending that there isn’t something beyond what we can see.
I am not speaking in terms of God and Goddess or a Supreme Being; that is not for me to decide. All I can draw from is my experiences and what I have learned from others. During my spiritual path I have tasted, smelled, felt, heard, and SEEN the unexplained. Many people have. I am not special, I just do what I can to balance myself and pay attention to the world around me.
My favorite example of the connection between biology and the spiritual aspects of nature is an event that I will never forget. Changes in the body can create mood swings and even hallucinations, but I have experienced both and this was neither. My first pregnancy was a welcome world of excitement. It helped me to get to know myself better. My energies increased. I am always careful of spell work and refrained from casting any kind while pregnant for multiple reasons. Because of this my personal powers grew.
It has recently been scientifically proven that people give off energy and that we can transfer it. Energy transference has always fascinated me. I am a healer by nature and my most effective method is through meditations and energy transference. (It is draining and dangerous at times-hence the care I take when choosing to engage in spell work) .
I first learned about energies and personal power from my mother’s father, Grandpa Tom. He was not a religious man. I do not believe he was into magick or that he knew what he was teaching me, but the first lesson he offered has stayed with me. He taught me to envision what I want to happen to make it happen. He sat down with me one day and held out his arm. He said, “You can do anything, if you think about it.”
He told me to hit his hand. I did and it moved slightly. (I was young and he was a WWII vet) . He told me to hit it again and do whatever I can to move it. No matter how I pushed pulled or slapped at his wrinkled hand it wouldn’t budge. He told me to put my hand out. When he gave it a tap, it swung. Then he stared at me with his deep chestnut eyes and said, “I’m going to hit it again, but you will stop me. Want to know how?”
I shook my head.
He laughed. A spark of knowledge seemed to dance in his eyes. “Imagine you are holding the heaviest bucket filled with water. Your arm is weighed down, it cannot move.”
I laughed and he frowned. “I want you to really try this, Jessie.” He scowled.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. When I opened them, he gave my hand a hard knock and I blocked it.
Grandpa was no Mr. Miyagi, but like most grandparents he had some kernels of wisdom. It’s amazing how something so simple can take hold and root itself into your character, help you draw from it for years. He and my grandma were pillars of the family. After they died I found myself utilizing their teachings more and more.
Motherhood never scared me. I had a lot of baby cousins and have always enjoyed being a role model for little ones, but I did miss the love and guidance of my grandparents. I always felt closer to my grandmother. I didn’t realize how much of an impact my grandfather had on me until years after he was gone. Memories have a funny way of remaining stored in the brain until you need them. They come back with vivid perspective when you become a parent.
About half way into my pregnancy, my cozy little brick house started to feel odd. Homes sometimes seem to have their own spirits and something shifted. I began to spot a powder blue light in the hall out of the corner of my eye whenever I sat in the living room. It didn’t matter if I was on the couch or one of the chairs; changing angles didn’t change the glow.
A lot of people told me they had seen things while they were pregnant so I wrote it off at first. Vision is known to change due to the hormones as well. Something about the fluttering kicks inside me had made me extra observant and paranoid at times, but after a few weeks, I couldn’t ignore the hue that taunted my peripheral vision.
Every time I turned to stare at it, it dimmed and faded. As we neared Samhain, it held longer each time. At the end of October, I saw the faint outline of my grandfather, barely visible. Strange things have happened in my family before. I often “saw things” as a kid, but this wasn’t a midnight vision that could be written off as a dream. It was mid-afternoon. I felt him all around me, could smell him. It seemed natural, like he was just stopping in for a visit.
Some people write off experiences like this as fiction, others make them seem too outlandish to be believed, I was just glad that he came to see me.
I said, “Hi grandpa.” and smiled. I stood to move toward him. The lights flickered and he was gone. Blinking, I giggled at myself. I stood in my sweats and socks, staring at nothing. It definitely wasn’t a scene from paranormal activity. It inspired me to walk into my bedroom and pull out the old photo albums to revel in the past for a few moments.
Running my fingertips over the smooth pages that enclosed my memories, I stared at aged snap-shots. In nearly all of them my grandpa was wearing these ridiculous powder blue pants, perfectly suited for a grey haired war vet. I sat back and looked down to my baby bump. “Grandpa came to check on us today.” I rubbed my belly.
I spent the rest of the night telling my growing baby about my grandparents.
The more I reflected, the more I realized how much of a force my grandfather had been. He was one of those tough old guys that most of us never have the chance to appreciate until they’re gone, the kind of man who admired strength and courage. He didn’t like expressing himself or getting mushy, but he always appreciated honesty. The aura was gone after this event. It didn’t come back.
When reading or speaking about scenarios like this, feedback is always mixed, but I’ve found that most people tend to pick a side. They split and say that it was either a visit from the afterlife or they determine that I need my head examined, a visit to an optometrist or whatnot. I’m just happy that it happened.
The biological changes in my body could have brought on a hallucinatory memory, or my grandfather may have felt the need to come see me during my pregnancy. I see them as one in the same. The instinctual processes brought on by our chemical makeup may be connected to drawing the spirit world closer. (I’m also a believer that nature is nurture and nurture is nature-the nature vs. nurture theory is very one sided and again, dividing) .
We do not have to pick sides. We do not have to write off spiritual experiences in the name of science, nor must we forget that science is merely: the organized study of a subject. Understanding the world around us should not exclude the unseen, or in this case, the seen. Magick is natural and nature is a science.
Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
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