Day of the Dead: Celebrating and Communicating with Your Loved Ones as the Veil Thins

As much as I live for Halloween each year, Dia de los Muertos (aka Day of the Dead) gives me life! My love affair with this traditional Mexican holiday began during my brief stint teaching middle school Spanish. We created a class offrenda to the late Tejano singer, Selena, and I pranked them with some light tricks involving the overhead projector during a super hokey séance. I know there is some Karen out there who is outraged at the thought of her tween snowflake being exposed to a séance funded by her tax dollars, but I refuse to apologize for what turned out to be the highlight of my experience in pre-pubescent purgatory. Sorry, not sorry.

Now that I am a professional medium, I make a living communicating with the dead for real (no hocus pocus or pranks involved), and I consider each reading a reunion and celebration. You don't have to be able to see and hear the dead as I do, however, to connect with your departed loved ones in a meaningful way. You can try the activity suggested below at any time of the year, but you will probably get better results than ever as the veil between worlds thins. This thinning occurs during the period between the Fall equinox and Winter Solstice (late October-early November). This should be a safe, fun and (hopefully) enlightening experience. There is no witchcraft or sorcery involved, it's simply a matter of setting an intention, setting the scene, and paying close attention to the energetic shifts that occur.

Step One: Protect Yourself & Set Your Intention
Regardless of how you decide to connect with the Spirit World, it is important to make sure that you first protect yourself and set an intention (let it be known whom you intend to connect with). Nothing I share here will put you in danger of inviting in demons or anything of the sort, but there's no sense taking any chances on picking up any hitchhikers who might take advantage of you leaving the door open to the Spirit World. The two steps listed below are the equivalent of putting on a spiritual condom. Please DO  NOT skip this step. 

1. Sit quietly, take several deep breaths, imagine yourself wrapped in a cocoon of bright white light and say (aloud or to yourself), "I encircle myself in the white light of Divine love and protection. I am open only to communicating with my departed loved ones and Spirit Guides." Note: Your Spirit Guides will be there facilitating, so I think it is important to acknowledge them.

2. State (aloud or to yourself) whom you are inviting into your protected circle of communication. Example: "Mom (or Dad, Grandma, etc.), if you are truly with me in Spirit, please try to show me that you are present in some meaningful way."

Step Two: Set the Stage
There are countless ways to sense that someone is with you in Spirit. I chose the following activity because it is easy to the gauge energetic shifts that make it obvious that you are not alone.

Get at least two candles (they don't need to be anything special or fancy). I suggest using three or four, but two will suffice. Be sure that there is no air flow that can affect them (close any windows and turn off the ceiling fans). Put them in glass containers if need be so the flames are definitely not subject to outside air flow. Light them all.

Step Three: Start Chatting and Pay Close Attention!

Start talking to whomever you are trying to communicate with. Watch the candle flames very carefully as you do. You should start to notice that one flame flickers while the rest stay calm. This is your "proof" that your loved one is there, using their energy to manipulate the flame in much the same way they send butterflies or birds in your general direction. Experiment by adding another loving spirit to the mix. If a second flame starts dancing, you know you are now a party of three! Ask some questions (YES/NO are best) and see how the flames respond. Pay attention to any distinct changes in the room temperature and or any goosebumps or tingles you may experience. If you have pets, they may start acting weird as well. This is yet another telltale sign that someone is present in Spirit. The more open and sensitive to energy you are, the better your results will be. 

Be sure to blow out the candles and thank your loved ones when you are done. It takes a lot of effort on their part to participate and they deserve props for delivering. I set up at least four candles during every in-person reading that I conduct to illustrate how clients can sense the presence of their loved ones on their own at home. Lighting the candles is my signal to Spirit that I am ready and waiting. Blowing the candles out at the end is the signal that the reading is over. It also serves as a reminder to me to thank everyone who took part or facilitated from Above.

IMPORTANT: Please do not substitute a Ouija Board or other device for the candle in this activity. Unless you have the gift of discernment (as most fully-developed, reputable mediums do), no matter how good your intentions are, Ouija Boards and amateur séances have been known to inadvertently invite in trouble. 

To learn more about the signs that your loved ones may be sending from the Other Side, click here: 

Before becoming a professional psychic medium, Beth taught high school French, Spanish, Italian and ESOL. In addition to conducting mediumship and general psychic readings across the country and abroad, she is also conducts paranormal investigations and offers psychic development mentoring for adults and children. Her book, Madame Medium: Unleash Your Inner Psychic with a French Teacher Turned Psychic Medium was written to help others uncover and hone their own intuitive abilities. Beth lives just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Scott, their dog, Waffle, and their resident house spirit.

To learn more about Beth, her book, and the other services that she offers, visit


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