In keeping with the Halloween theme, we opted to profile Sally Ryan, a well-known, Oakville-based Medium who gives us her take on communicating with the spirit world.
Oakville.com (OC): What is a Medium?
Sally Ryan (SR): A Medium is someone who can communicate with energy, spirits and guides.
(OC): Describe your gift?
(SR): I can see, hear and feel the energy left over when a person passes away. I use this gift to help people overcome the fear of death and dying, for people who are going through the process of leaving and saying goodbye. It’s referred to as a ‘death doula’ wherein I assist in the spiritual needs of people when they are passing, not unlike the’ birth doula’ who helps when someone is entering life. I’m also a ‘life coach’ for people, with the assistance of guides and spirits, during times when they are transitioning in life. People come to me for readings, and life and death support. I offer workshops on how to tap into your own intuition and I’m in the process of developing a documentary to help the general public to become more comfortable with this subject.
(OC): Describe yourself in three words
(SR): Intuitive, respectful and kind
(OC): Any myths to debunk?
(SR): 1.It’s frightening to see spirits and they can hurt you! Not true…often they are just passing by and they are unaware of you.
2.They can tell you what to do or make you do something you don’t want to. They can’t make you do anything you don’t want to.
(OC): When did you know you could communicate with the dead?
(SR): When I was a small child. It was more the case of when I realized other people couldn’t!
(OC): What is the significance of Halloween?
(SR): The vale between this world we live in and the one we move on to upon death is the thinnest on the 31st October. Centuries ago people would dress up, so that the dead wouldn’t recognize them as they walked among us. The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.
(OC): Advice for Halloween?
(SR): Light a white candle if you are home alone. This is a beautiful time to remember the people you miss who have passed over. DO NOT EVER USE THE OUIJA BOARD. It invites unwelcome energy and it can sometimes be very difficult to get rid of. Negative energy feeds on fear!
(OC): Signs that a spirit is in one’s presence?
(SR): The temperature in the room changes. A flash of energy in your peripheral vision. Light bulbs flickering. Objects fall off shelves or move.
(OC): Why do spirits haunt?
(SR): Usually a spirit will stay in a location because they are unaware of the fact they have passed away. Sometimes, they have unfinished business and they are trying to communicate with someone, or they are reluctant to leave someone they love. Spirits can be attached to a building or piece of land, sometimes many years have passed since their death and they are unaware of the surroundings and people they are affecting with their presence. Be gentle.
(OC): Best lesson learned from a ghost?
(SR): I was clearing a house many years ago when I was just starting out and this ghost was communicating very well with me until I made the mistake of telling them the date and year. They became very defensive and didn’t trust me, as they had no sense of the present time. It took me a great deal of time to win their trust and help them to cross over.
(OC): Advice for managing fear of ghosts?
(SR): Just as it would be for any fear-based emotion. The first thing you should do is remain calm and start to think about something that will take your mind off what is frightening you. If possible remove yourself from the situation or place. Ghosts can’t hurt you but they can make their presence known sometimes.
(OC): How long have you lived in Oakville?
(SR): I have lived in Oakville since March 2000.
(OC): Favourite thing to do in Oakville?
(SR): Walk along the lakeshore by the water.
(OC): Describe Oakville in three words
(SR): Home, Enchanting and Progressive
For more information about Sally Ryan, visit www.intuitiveminds.net