Being a medium may sound glamorous, and at times it is. As withes anything else in life, there comes times when I love it, but that doesn’t always mean I always like it.
As a child, being a medium was especially challenging. Kids can be cruel (at more than one slumber party I was locked in the basement) and my grandfather used my fear to punish me (I was dropped off in a cemetery once!). This came to a head in middle school, for it was during those awkward years that I, for the first time, lost people close to me: my grandfather and a childhood friend, Alice.
I was eleven. No child at that age has the emotional intelligence necessary to fully process the significance of death. The loss of grandpa and friend was complicated in that both were still hanging around!
I was confused, scared, grieving, all the things a child dealing with death goes through. And, I didn’t understand why grandpa and Alice were still there. They were dead. Adults in my life told me death is permanent and until I go to heaven, I wouldn’t see them again. I believed them. For one, they were smart, they were adults. Two, the people I lost previously, albeit they weren’t close, didn’t come around and visit. So I had assumed grandpa and Alice should be reunited with family and friends on the other-side.
I wondered why grandpa and Alice were still here. Were they evil and not going to heaven? They did after all feel different from the other spirits I had encountered. If they were evil, did that mean they could hurt me? The spirits I had always encountered emanated love and would go away if I asked. Grandpa and Alice did not.
Older and wiser now, I understand that initially after a person passes they typically “hang around” for at least his/her funeral or memorial service, sometimes longer. Some may call them “earth bound,” but as an eleven year-old child I thought they were “ghosts” who were “haunting” me for something terrible I had done.
What was so horrible that I could have done you may ask? I knew before grandpa and Alice went that were going to die that day. I remember hugging grandpa when he left on Thanksgiving and him telling me for the first time, “I love you,” that he was going home to die and then sitting on the top of the stairs when the phone rang that it was Grandma Pat with the news. I also remember the day Alice, she yelled at me in the lunch room that “I hate you” that I should apologize because I wouldn’t have another chance. Through my grief I felt guilt and responsibility.
This guilt was compounded for whenever I said anything about my grandfather or Alice’s passing, teachers and students gave me concerned, funny looks. To assist in dealing with the loss, my English teacher had us write and present a paper on how we dealt with sadness and who supported us most in dark times. I spoke of meditation and my spirit guide to which I received stifled laughs and snickers. My Science teacher also delivered a potent message to the class, telling us we were not to “make up tall tales or speak ill of the dead” and “no one could know this would happen.” All the while she looked in my direction. After those two incidents, I shut up and tried to ignore my gift.
Despite the negative feedback I received in school, I continued to benefit from the support of my family. After my grandfather’s passing, Eugene (my grandfather’s cousin) took me aside and comforted me. He informed me that like me, he knew grandpa was going to die and that Lois, my grandmother was waiting for him. He also told me it would be ok. It made me feel better, but I also knew at that time I needed to keep things quiet. It’s at that point I decided to fly under the radar, which I did for many years.
Upon my grandfather’s passing in 1992, my relatives did not fight over money (there wasn’t any to be had), rather they went head to head over a piece of glass. No one knows where the hunk of green glass weighing in at about 5lbs came from, but it has been in my family since at least my great grandfather. My aunt, uncles and mother fondly remember it sitting in their grandfather’s living room under the television… the same place my own grandfather upon inheriting it placed it.
You might be saying to yourself, “A piece of glass – really?” But there is something truly profound about this hunk as it mesmerizes family, friends, acquaintances and strangers alike. As children we (my mom, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) would stare into this glass for HOURS to which my grandfather would probe, “ What do you see??”. Unbeknownst to me at the time, we were scrying!! Hence, I have loving dubbed the glass “The Mootz Crystal Ball.”
You’re probably thinking, “Ok… so who got the glass after my grandfather’s passing?” In her wisdom, rather than making a decision right away my grandma Pat (my mom’s step-mother) gave the glass to my mother for ‘safe keeping’. For years it sat in my mother’s home and every Thanksgiving, the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, a discussion took place over who ultimately would get this special piece.
It wasn’t until I started reading professionally that my mother and my aunt felt the “crystal ball” had chosen its owner. There was some hemming and hawing… but that settled quickly as according to my mom, the “glass had spoken.”
Until recently, this special heirloom has resided in my reading room and gone with me to every show and event. At each event it attracts attention from readers and patrons alike, some calling it a unique crystal others commenting that it looks a little like a crystal skull. But for me, it’s been a reminder that my grandfather is with me spirit supporting me on my unique journey.
I have found recently however, as I step into my own with the confidence to state – “I am a medium,” that I need the glass less as a physical reminder of their support. As a result, like my grandfather and great grandfather the glass been moved from my reading room and has again taken its place in the living room… only rather than under the television you’ll find it under the wine rack.
My grandfather often spoke of “Indian Guides,” otherwise known as spirit guides. According to him, a unique Native American spirit was assigned to each individual to protect and assist us down our life’s path. As a child, my “Indian Guide” was Chief Joseph.
Chief Joseph is a Native American spirit who appears to me dressed in jeans, and depending upon the day a black cowboy hat or full head dress. As a rule, he never said much. And, from his post at the front door of the home I grew up in, he protected me and my family ensuring only the highest and the best entered the home.
Chief Joseph was a kind spirit and I found much solace in his presence and honored him with offerings of gemstones and tobacco. Perhaps for the offerings, or the recognition of my gift and vulnerability, he took a particular liking to me (then again who wouldn’t??). I don’t, however, believe he was my guide. My guide, Clarissa, (perhaps named for the television program “Clarissa Explains it All”) is a whimsical, fairylike presence with a strong goddess-like energy. Because she is not Native American and my grandfather insisted our guides were Indians, for a long time I did not recognize her as my guide. After his passing and when I began to study with other teachers, I realized the reason my grandfather referred to guides as “Indian” was because that’s what his was! He only knew from his experience! Clarissa, was indeed my guide.
So who, you may be asking yourself, is Chief Joseph? And, why was and is he around? Until the early 1850’s the land upon which my childhood home was built was part of the Buffalo Creek Reservation. On rainy and stormy nights, if you listen closely the Native chants and drums are audible on the winds. And, it is my belief that Chief Joseph is a Seneca Indian charged with protecting the sanctimony of the sacred land. Since I have left home, I no longer find him within the four walls of my mother’s home, rather he slowly walks the land offering prayers.
To him I am forever grateful. He protected me even though he didn’t have to. So although he may not be my guide, he is my hero.
In my last blog posting, I spoke of my earliest “experience” with spirit. The story recounted by both my mother and aunt that featured me and highlighted my gift, as I was only six months old, was not truly my experience, but THEIRS!
In most households, an experience like the one my mother and aunt tell would leave people unnerved and perhaps unraveled. Many may try to rationalize it by thinking “I must have been dreaming.” Or, depending on how disturbed the family was they may call in a priest or pastor to bless the house. This was not the response either my mother or aunt had.
Rather my mother and aunt shrugged it off and thought of it as a neat tale to tell as experiences like this were and are commonplace in my family. If you were to attend one of my family gatherings you can be certain that at some point the conversation would lead to, “what visitors have YOU had lately?” In fact, it wasn’t until I was a tween that it became apparent to me that these types of experiences and subsequent conversations were out of the ordinary!!
Over the past several years, intrigued as to where this all started I began to dig into my background (I still need to do a lot more). The furthest back I can track the gift back on my mother’s side is my Grandfather’s Uncle (my Great Great Uncle), Reverend Norman Mootz. According to my family, Norman was a Spiritualist Minister conducting church services in Western New York.
Living in a time when spiritualism was popular, he spent many of his summers in Lily Dale, NY. My grandfather, Albert, benefited from this affiliation. My grandfather lost his mother at the tender age of twelve. To ease the suffering and offer his only child, Eugene, a companion, Norman would bring both boys to Lily Dale. During these summers, my grandfather was trained in mediumship and the spiritualist faith. Neither my grandfather nor Eugene became practicing mediums themselves, but their connection with spirit enriched their lives and my own.
As a young man, my grandfather did not practice as a medium as he and grandmother, Lois, had seven children: Duane, Vickey, Marguerite, Rose Marie, Carl, Naomi and Dawn (my namesake)!! It was only after the tragedy of losing three children and his wife in a house fire that my grandfather reconnected with spirit as it brought comfort to know there was more and that life is eternal.
Of the four remaining children, all are intuitive in their own ways and have had experiences with spirit inclusive of: the eldest, a lover of cuckoo clocks, who experiences them randomly chirping; my aunt who speaks of the man who scared the be jeepers out of her by appearing at the end of her bed; my mother who speaks of all her visitors that come to her at night such as my grandfather, a young girl and Chief Joseph – the resident spirit that protects the home I grew up in; and the youngest, while I haven’t spoken to him about visitors, he has a luck that is undeniable. Despite the presence of the gift, none embrace it, rather they run from it.
Then there is me! As one of eleven grandchildren (Amy, Hollie, Neal, Ryan, Ashley, Sarah, Joshua, Erica, Matthew and Alexa), I’m not the only one that is in tune with spirit for at least three others have the gift.
That all being said… that’s only ONE side of the family. Intuitiveness is also present on my mother’s mother’s side of the family. And while not as overt, it also runs in my father’s family – although they call me “sensitive” as opposed to intuitive or a medium.
Due to this long lineage, some may say I was destined to be the way I am. And perhaps I am. What I am grateful for is the support my family gave me through the years…. my grandfather passing on his knowledge (good and bad – I’ll talk about that at another time!), my mother attending classes with me, my aunt carting me to and from classes and workshops, and my father and step-mother, who despite not being able to relate, being supportive of me in my journey. To them, I would like to say thank you!!
If you were to talk to my mother or aunt about my abilities, they would tell you it all started early. They’d then most likely tell you a story of when I was about six months old. At that time, my aunt lived with my parents and I. She appreciated the cheap rent and my parents appreciated the extra set of hands. All three parents changed my diapers, fed me, bathed me, and comforted me in my times of distress – which according to my mother was all the time. I was a high maintenance baby, to which I am certain my husband would say, “Not much has changed.”
Out of convenience, my nursery was a small room situated between the master bedroom and my aunt’s. When I would rouse during the middle of the night (I wasn’t a very good sleeper I’m told), my mother or aunt (my father has ALWAYS been a heavy sleeper) would go in and coo me back to sleep. But, I digress.
To continue with my story, one night, like many others, I awoke and began fussing. Soon after, my mother heard a woman offering soothing words and me babbling right along with her. Glad my aunt was taking care of me and she didn’t have to get out of bed, she turned over and went back to sleep.
Over coffee the next morning, my mother, with much gratitude, thanked my aunt for attending to me. Astonished, my aunt exclaimed, “I didn’t go to her! When I heard you talking to her, I turned over and went back to sleep.”
My life as a medium had begun.
Today, my aunt and mother question how many times the kind woman, whom they believe was grandmother, came in and attended to me. Had it not been for my mother’s gratitude that morning, they may never have known. Spirit operates in interesting ways.
I am a medium. It is who I am. It is what I do.
Recently, perhaps due to the popularity of shows such as Long Island Medium and Ghost Hunters, I often get asked, “What is it like to be a medium?” You would think that this would be an easy question to answer.
Unfortunately, that is not the case as there are not words to describe the experience. It would be like describing the color blue! As I’ve always been a medium, I don’t have any other point of reference and have never known anything different.
Most days, I consider myself blessed. On others, I wish I could bury my head in the sand like an ostrich. Thus rather than trying to explain, I’ve decided to start a blog, “Life of a Medium,” in partnership with my husband for the purpose of chronicling what life as and living with a medium is like. Here’s to the good, the bad, the funny, the sad and everything in between.
Dawn Lynn is an EveryDay medium. She lives and breathes via her intuition, which as a fourth generation intuitive from a family of Spiritualists came easily. Her abilities became apparent in early childhood and were cultured by a supportive family. Through her Blogs and Vlogs, she wants to help you become the EveryDay medium too.