How I found my Spirit Guide!
Lilydale, NY 2006
One beautiful summer day, I headed off to spend a weekend in the spiritualism community of the Lilydale Assembly with three of my graduated, advanced Tarot students. This was a five hour drive from our home in Kitchener, Ontario which meant crossing the Canadian/US border. Paul was our guide having visited Lilydale many times before. All along our journey he regaled us with titillating personal stories and anecdotes from his earlier trips. True, exciting, delicious, old fashioned ghost stories!
We would only be spending two nights which meant we would have to work to get as much in as possible. There is general assemblies, mediums giving messages in their various outside temples, museum, library, and many practicing mediums with whom you can arrange to have a reading. I was definitely on for one of those! I had both parents now in the spirit world along with grandparents and aunts so there was lots of opportunity for someone to come through.
Lilydale is an old community that was formed in the days when Spiritualism was a burgeoning concern, growing exponentially between 1840 and 1940. Mediums and their followers would go to Lilydale to camp and meet with their mediums and others of like mind. It is one of the few venues left in North America where this activity continues to thrive.
We arrived just in time to catch a large General Assembly beginning. There were possibly 200 people in the room and the energy was magical. People were hugging each other with joy after not having seen each other for at least a year, the music was uplifting and I felt this odd sense otherworldliness. As if I was transported to a different dimension, a different time zone rather dreamlike and beautiful.
We attended a few of the outside temple gatherings, and on the second evening having discovered it was the full moon, the three of us went on a walk down to the Forrest Temple. There was only the light of the bright full moon to guide us through this very dark forest and once there we could feel the spirits. It felt like we had entered a place where the veil between the worlds was so thin we could almost touch our loved ones passed.
My Meeting with the Medium
On Sunday morning, our final day at Lilydale, two of us decided we would have to have a session with a medium. I highly recommend that if you're planning to visit Lilydale, you do some research beforehand and book an appointment with a medium beforehand. They get booked up fast especially during the summer months and we were just fortunate to find one that had some time available to see us that Sunday.
My chosen medium worked out of his small home in Lilydale and invited clients to sit with him in his front, cozy living room. He asked me if there was someone in the spirit world I especially wanted him to contact.
I answered, "No. There are so many now that have passed on, whomever wants to come and say hello is fine with me." I was curious to see who would! I assumed it would be my mother since we had been close. My mother and I had in fact gone to the Spiritualist Church and group meetings together in Kitchener years before. But then my paternal grandfather had attended the Spiritualist church in Toronto as well many years earlier and brought his son (my father) with him on a number of occasions. So there was a plethora of potential visitors!
He began talking about someone who was present. This person had had knee problems and was pernickety about setting a table. I burst out laughing knowing immediately who that was and what a surprise! It was my father. Now he had been a fan of spiritualism having gone to a Spiritualist meeting in Toronto and been given a message that changed his life. But this is a story to be continued.
We had a lovely afternoon and just before jumping into the car to leave, we darted into the bookstore for a quick perusal. I was staring at a shelf that had a few books displayed flat just inside the entrance when a small, brown book caught my eye. It looked old even though it was clearly newly printed. Titled, The Soul: in Human Embodiments by Mrs. Cora L.V. Richmond, I opened to a page to read a paragraph which is normally how I decide if I'm going to read a book.
On p. 14 I read, "There is no change in the relation of the Soul and God; no Soul ever goes astray, no Soul is ever "lost," no Soul is shadowed, no Soul is darkened. It is impossible for the Soul, in its divine and essential nature ever to be alienated, or estranged, or in any way shut out from God's Omniscient, Omnipresent Love. This being understood as the basis, whatever shadows may be referred to hereafter, in this series of lessons, will not relate to the Soul or God, but will relate to conditions which will be explained."
Of course I knew right then I was going to read this book. I glanced at the publication date, 1888 and felt immediately that I had found a treasure. I had no idea just how powerful a treasure it was to become to me then but I could feel rumblings!
Getting to Know Cora Richmond
Exploring the wonder of Cora Richmond
Upon returning home I put Cora's book on my bookshelf in the living room relegating it to the later file when I finished the books I was already up to my eyebrows in. Months later, I was browsing my shelf when I came upon Cora's book. What a find! I was thrilled having completely forgotten about it. After reading only one chapter I was completely intrigued and promptly got on the internet to see what I could find and if there were in fact more books available by her. I found my way to Cora's main site operated by Ziaa and she had generously reprinted several of Cora's books. I bought all of them. A couple of days later Ziaa phoned me to say the books were on their way and well...who was I anyway to come out of the blue like that so keen to know everything I could about this Cora Richmond?! She was astounded to discover that I had found Cora in the bookstore at Lilydale because she had never sold them a copy of her book.
Well when I discovered that I had re-found Cora's book on a full moon in combination with the feelings that were being stirred reading her little brown book, it would seem that Ziaa and I had much to catch up on. Ziaa, a professional but very private astrologer brought me into Cora's world. We spoke on the phone for many hours...well mostly Ziaa spoke and I made notes! Those feelings I had on the full moon wandering in Lilydale returned ten fold.
I didn't know what it all meant. Why did I meet Cora? Who was she to me? Because of all the synchronistic events surrounding our meeting I knew there was more to know about our relationship than simply a literary one.
One day Ziaa in a hushed tone suggested to me that Cora was an "avatar". Wow that felt so right I almost fainted. I've been saying for more than 40 years that it just wasn't possible that God would assign the role of "manifestation" to men only. We might live with sexist issues here on this planet but the spirit world? No way. So what to call Cora? What terminology would be comfortable for most people to grasp? Spirit Guide! I will call Cora my spirit guide from now on, her true role for me would be kept under my hat.
After Ziaa and I had been dialoging for a few months almost daily, I decided to form a group which would meet weekly to explore Cora's writings in relationship to what was going on in our lives and what other spiritual master's had to say on the subject. Cora comprised however, the core of our discussions. After each meeting we would assign a series of writings and come prepared to our next meeting with our questions and suggestions in relation to the writings. This group also helped me to unpack much of Cora's writings which were less than easy to comprehend! Her messages were complex having been brought from the spirit world directly from very advanced souls long passed. The language was antiquated and the lessons were difficult to fathom. Ziaa helped as well as I continued our regular phone sessions.
In a few short weeks our group disbanded. There were changes taking place in all our lives which were impinging on our ability to commit to weekly meetings. The following summer we all agreed to reconsider forming again in a few months once everyone's life had settled down. Unfortunately we never reconvened.
But I was planning yet another trip to Lilydale but this time on a Cora mission!
I will write about this second trip in my next HubPage.
- Exploring Psychic Experience: The Prayers of Cora L.V. Richmond, p.1
'The Primal Mother' comes from a collection of spiritualist prayers by child medium Cora L.V. Richmond (born Cora L.V. Scott) (Page 1/6)
Lilydale General Assembly
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