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The Spirits Around Us


All of us have spirits surrounding us. These can be deceased family members and friends, spirits we knew in past lives who have chosen not to incarnate in the present, and sometimes the “ghosts” of complete strangers.


Assuming the spirits surrounding you are positive in their nature and influence, there are things you can do to strengthen your communication with them, and I want to spend this newsletter discussing this possibility.


Within the candleburning tradition, there are several so-called “sacred” oil and incense recipes that are believed to enhance spirit contact. Why do this? Because practitioners believe that spirits can offer helpful advice and can participate more directly in our lives than most people think. Spirits are believed able to unlock secrets and confer spiritual and material blessings.


Some of you might worry that spirit contact is dangerous or too spooky, but the fact is that whether or not you take an active role in the relationship, spirits are always with you. While it’s not important to them that you acknowledge their presence, they certainly do appreciate it when you do.


Think for a moment. Whose spirit might be standing beside you right now? A parent? A grandparent? A cherished friend? A child?


I don’t know if spirit contact is the same for everyone, but I can describe what it is for me. When one (or more) of my spirit pals is around, I usually feel a slight “tingling” in my stomach, a vague sense of melancholy, and quite often an inflow of memories and information. Let’s look at each of these indicators separately.


Tummy Tingles: When a spirit is present, my most common response is a vague excitement in the pit of my stomach. By this I don’t meet a jittery or nervous feeling – rather I experience the spirit’s presence as a curious blend of excitement and calm. This may sound contradictory, but what I feel is a playful energy in the area around my naval. As I acknowledge the spirit’s presence, the tummy tingles generally subside immediately.


A word of caution: If you feel a cold external sensation, like a chill, be careful. This can indicate the presence of a baneful spirit. Check to see if the chill is the result of a draft in the room. If not, see if the chill is present everywhere in the room or just in one section. If the chill is general, you probably don’t have a problem. If it is located in one section of the room, then you should take precautionary measures. Normally lighting a white candle anointed with Holy Spirit, Blessed, or All Saints will suffice to banish a negative spirit. Sometimes, if the spirit is persistent, you may have to resort to a red or purple candle anointed with Fiery Wall of Protection, No Hex, or Protection.


Auld Lang Syne: Very often a spirit announces its presence through a melancholy feeling within us – a blend of sadness and joy. If this feeling is accompanied by tummy tingles, you can be pretty sure a friendly spirit is visiting. When this feeling occurs, I normally find myself detaching from the present and moving back to the past. Often this nostalgic feeling appears before I get a sense of which spirit is visiting. However, whenever I find myself drifting back to the past, I pay very close attention in order to determine if I am merely waxing sentimental or entertaining a spirit friend.


Memory Bank: Our memories of a deceased person are the vocabulary we use when we communicate with them after death. These shared experiences provide the deceased spirit with ways to provide us with information that can help us make decisions.


One of my clients – Erica – gave me an interesting example of this. She told me she was having dinner with a new guy she liked a lot when, for no apparent reason, she began to think about her sister who had passed away the previous year. The moment her sister came into her mind, she recalled a time, in the mid-1970s, when her sister had a disastrous relationship with a guy who turned out to be a pathological liar. “It’s funny,” her sister told her after the affair ended. “Every time I was with him, it seems like ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ came on the jukebox or radio. If only I’d listened!”


No sooner had Erica flashed on this memory, than over the restaurant’s sound system came the unmistakable voices of the Eagles, singing – you guessed it – “Lyin’ Eyes.” Erica looked across at her date and wondered if she was being sent a warning about him. She became nervous and decided to end the date early, just in case. A couple days later, she picked up a newspaper and, under the headline “Embezzler Caught After Two Year Sting,” was a photo of her date…





There are several “spirit pulling” recipes that come to mind. Practitioners employ spirit pullers not so much to actually “pull spirits,” but to add clarity to the communication. These fragrances are thought to enhance psychic flow and surround the encounter with an aura of holiness. By holiness I don’t mean extreme piety. You can behave as informally as you wish when a spirit is present. By holiness I mean a quality of spiritual protection as you converse.


I use the word “converse” loosely, because you won’t hear an actual voice. Rather, you will receive inner, silent impressions. These may take the form of words, images, symbols, whole sentences, a vivid past memory, or a future vision.


Sometimes a spirit encounter is brief, other times it can go on for days, months, and even years. Some spirits tend to hang around more than others. One of my spirits is around almost constantly, particularly when I do tarot readings. She was my most important tarot teacher and I have her photo overlooking where I do most of my readings. Since her passing, she has become a comforting, instructive, jovial presence in my life, mirroring the role she played when she was here. While I certainly wish she was still on this plane, often in the middle of a card interpretation I can hear her voice at the back of my mind, offering suggestions.


Another spirit, my good friend Tim who I lost in 1976, comes and goes unpredictably but visits often. Again, my relationship with him now reflects the friendship we had when he was living. Always a prankster and comedian, when his spirit stops by things liven up substantially around here. Much to my dismay, he continues his tradition of practical jokes at my expense! However, he’s also an uncanny ally.


Then there are several other spirits, mostly relatives, who only visit on rare occasions. Often I have no sense who they are when they stop by and usually they only linger for a few moments. Often the only reason I know they’re family is they are usually accompanied by childhood memories.


To heighten these encounters, the New Orleans tradition prescribes a number of “holy oils” said to attract and intensify spirit encounters. The most important are:


Al Anima Sola

All Saints


High Altar

Holy Spirit

Kindly Spirit


Psychic Power

Spirit Guide

Spiritual Vision



When employing these oils, we only use white or yellow candles. Normally we do not carve the name of a particular spirit on the candle. An exception to this is when we are using Al Anima Sola, a specialized Santerķa recipe created to help a distressed spirit to cross over. Aside from its mild banishing focus, Al Anima Sola is also a way of paying tribute to a spirit.


Spirit Guide and Spiritual Vision are both designed to strengthen spirit contact for the purpose of guidance. Both recipes are supposed to bring clarity to a spirit contact and open psychic channels between the material and spiritual planes.


Psychic Power also has this effect, but is broader in impact because it seeks to amplify one’s psychic awareness whether spirits are present or not.


Each of these fragrances is described in the Extrascentsory Apothecary catalog that you received a few months ago. The entire catalog is online at my website (http://members.aol.com/malcworld/). (If you didn’t receive a catalog, write or call me and I’ll send you a copy.)


Although it is not a spirit recipe, I often add Joy oil to my spirit candle. I do this for three reasons: (1) to express my joy at having known the spirit in this life and (2) to confer a joyous tone to the communication and (3) to confer joy upon the soul of the visiting spirit.


Some of you may wonder how long a spirit lingers prior to reincarnation. Indeed, this used to cause me a great deal of confusion until I read the Egyptian theory of the soul. The ancient Egyptians believed that we have two souls, one that incarnates with us, and one which stays on the spirit plane. When we die, our mortal soul rejoins our immortal soul until it is time to reincarnate again. At that point, the two souls separate again, but are always ultimately conjoined in a partnership.


The Egyptians often depicted the immortal soul as a bird hovering around an incarnated being. Although we do not normally have a sense of our immortal soul when we are in human form, it is always with us. At death, when our two souls conjoin, the mortal soul passes the lessons of its incarnation to the immortal soul as a preparation for its next sojourn in the flesh. In this sense, the immortal soul serves as the repository of wisdom gleaned in our many lifetimes. [See next page for more regarding the Egyptian concepts of the soul and the after life.]


In some traditions, the immortal soul might be referred to as our “guardian angel.” Many psychics believe that the immortal soul is the source of their intuitions. I tend to agree with this view.

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