I received a phone call last night at around 9:12. The phone rang once and the stopped. I noticed it was my daughter calling and picked it up. “Something is wrong mom, I need to come home. Her father left out any details and simply said that she needed to come home because the house wasn’t a safe place for her. Aaron and I hopped into his car and drove to get her. After a few minutes, three figures emerged from the apartment complex. I greeted them beneath the building lights. “Is the house haunted?” Her dad looked at me, “Yeah, that is a given. I won’t be staying here tonight myself.”
Once home, I made some hot chamomile tea, gave my daughter a blanket and turned on the lights. My ten year told described to me exactly what she saw. “Dad fell and he caught the leg of the couch. I saw a smoky black thing standing beside him. I did what you told me mom and I tried to focus on my shield. I tried to go over to my dad but I felt like something invisible was blocking me from getting close.” I sighed. “Well, that may have been your protectors, the protection spell around you or maybe both.” The conversation lasted for about an hour, we watched a cartoon and then turned in for the evening.
My daughter, now ten, has seen the Otherworld off and on since she was very small -too small to remember. I used to watch her crib from my bed at night and found myself amazed and a little unsettled when large, people-sized, white glows came close and gathered around her. I wasn’t sure if they were family or not but the sight of them did not make me afraid. However, it would be a lie to say I’d never encountered anything that didn’t send the chills straight up my spinal column.
Nothing sets the inner fire ablaze like a mother’s need to protect her child. I grew up with unusual experiences and clung to my fear. I would be nearly fourteen before gaining some amount of confidence about what to do about it. As a mother, I set the intention to raise my child with awareness so that if and when she experienced the world with her “special-eyes” or “special ears” she would know that she could set boundaries, and find her own strength. Even if she was afraid, she could face it or choose to turn from it without shame.
Despite my early experiences with the Craft, I was nearly twenty years old before my mother sat me down and talked to me about the more disturbing experiences. My youngest sister’s spiritual battles had prompted the conversation but it was her last words that seared into memory: “When each of you girls were born, I cried. I cried because I didn’t want you to have this gift and I cried because you would all live life as women too and that comes with its own lessons.”
As a family, we have been through the grand “W” which are (What was that? Why is this happening? Why us? Where did that come from? What are we going to do?) To find peace, the answer was first to ignore it which didn’t really work. This went on for a few generations -perhaps more. In our own way, each of us questioned our sanity. In fact, I’m sure that there were times we were all driven to the brink of emotional and even physical tolerance. The second route was to fight it which seemed to cause more conflict because the feeling was one of being cursed. Years would pass before we gained some understanding as individuals how seeing can serve us -or others. Acceptance of ourselves and acclimation to the reality of it came slower. One node of comfort was knowing that for better or worse, it ran in the family.
Writing this brings me back to 2009 when I overheard a conversation between two co-workers. One of them was having frightening visions of black dogs that both she and her daughter were experiencing. The advice and commentary she received shook me to my bones. She was told it was because she was not living her life the right way, that she shouldn’t live with a man without being married or go out to bars, etc. It left her feeling guilty and confused. Religious convictions aside, we can live our lives to the best of personal standards and still have a lack of answers.
Stepping over what must have been a boundary, I later offered her this consideration: “It is not your fault and you are not alone. If you can, find strength and believe in something greater and more powerful than yourself but remember that you are not powerless.” We talked about the black dogs and discovered that she had English and Irish ancestry. This encouraged her to personally research visions of black dogs. She worked with me a year but before moving away, she gave me a hug and offered a deeply felt thank you.
I’ve written this article because I feel there are many families out there with this story. Deep in my heart, I am sure that we are not the only one with strange tales who have been witness to the visions, voices, and secrets that have been revealed to us. The spiritual and energetic worlds are definite realities to those that closely experience them. We cannot close our eyes and pretend it did not happen for long. No longer do we have the privilege of asking if these things exist. We can not un-know what our eyes have been opened to.