From CBS Television’s “Haunted Lives” Trance Medium Dwanna Paul shares tales from the road as this spiritual nomad and her group travel the South in search of adventure from beyond this world. Her new book “Circle of Lights” is scheduled for publication sometime next year.
The following preview is from “Circle of Lights,” the forthcoming new book from author Dwanna Paul:
In 1998 I closed the Dallas center to travel and indulge my spiritual nomad. In 2010 I purchased a motor home that was small but nimble. While travelling through Florida in the motorhome I was offered the opportunity to visit a medium hosting table tilting séances in Cassadaga.
It was during one of the many events that I attended at the well-known Florida Spiritualist center where six of my close friends and I met in a little house. A friendly chatty medium first greeted us then invited us to come in. After navigating the crowded parlor we sat to discuss that evening’s program and hear the community’s latest gossip before proceeding to the basement.
The environment downstairs was dark and welcoming to me. In the middle of the room was a very large round oak pedestal table. It may have weighed over 100 pounds. Chairs were placed all around and each of us took our seats. The medium addressed questions from each person seated at the table in clockwise order. My turn would come last. With our fingers placed lightly upon the top that table was tapping “Yes” or “No” to each inquiry.
When it came to my turn I posed the question, “Is my Spirit Guide Two Bear here?”
One form of physical phenomena known to the Spiritualist community is table tilting. Tilting provides a means to communicate with spirit. I have over 30 years of practice in this discipline. The accuracy of the spirit team working behind the scenes always amazes me.
When practicing this exercise, a group of people gather around a circular lightweight table upon which they place their hands lightly, saying aloud a positive affirmation to open the séance. The group then sings happy songs and the table begins to move. Rocking slowly at first the table eventually starts jumping up and down in a roundabout manner.
Table tilting offers a first step towards experiencing more profound displays of spirit energy for beginners who wish to work with physical phenomena. To practice at home I suggest gathering a group of four or five people and choosing an evening that agrees with everyone’s schedule. One tip for ensuring the success of these events is to make sure that everyone who joins the group has the same mission in mind.
Spirit can answer by tapping the legs of the table against the floor, chair or by knocking upon the tabletop. When first starting out, try to establish a set of conventions. For example, one tap can signify “Yes” with two meaning “No.”
When gathering the strength to bring spirit through the table groups can use an alphabet to communicate. One of the sitters states the letters of the alphabet aloud while others take notes of the words as they are spelled out. Spirit will pause between words. Patience leads to successful practice as good tilting requires time and dedication.
At the other end of the room was a curtained area used as a “cabinet” (a place where a medium sits for producing physical phenomena). The medium can remain in this curtained area while sitters support the cultivation of energy with songs and positive thoughts from elsewhere in the room. This night the cabinet was empty with the back of my chair faced towards it at a distance of seven feet behind me.
I looked up and saw a trumpet suspended over the table. The trumpet is a conical, lightweight, aluminum, communication device introduced to séance practice over 100 years ago. It’s used within the Spiritualist community as a medium for spirit to speak through. This one was suspended from a wire and covered with luminous paint. Our medium for the evening explained, “Placing the trumpet in this way will give spirit the idea to use it.”
Sometimes spirit guides and loved ones’ voices are amplified through various means in order to be heard by participants at a séance. This amplification is called “Direct Voice.” The voice of the spirit communicator can speak through one of these trumpets, for example. I have also heard my guides speak unaided directly into the séance room in barely audible whispers, uttering “We love you,” and “Can you hear us?”
I thought about the trumpets that were in my center 25 years earlier. All five of them would levitate in the dark, still visible to us as they were coated in luminous paint. Time and time again they floated and flew quickly up to the 12-foot tall ceiling. I understand that trumpets levitate when spirit builds energy rods to suspend them.
Sometimes spirit would speak through the trumpets at my center. On one occasion a trumpet levitated in front of me. Then a very gentle voice said my name to which I answered in surprise, “What? Oh my, they just spoke.”
The séance had already begun as the medium said an opening prayer and the table began to shudder. The room became very warm then the medium asked the first sitter to pose their question. As they did one by one it seemed that the table answered with a great pounding thump of its leg upon the floor until it came to me.
As soon as I had finished asking my question about Two Bear that enormous table rose up tilting in such a manner that the entire top was facing me. The medium yelled, “What’s happening? I’ve never seen it do this!” It then moved pressing tightly against me and slammed back to the floor. Very quickly it began to push me backwards in my chair towards the cabinet.
The others were following, screaming and laughing all at the same time as our medium exclaimed, “I don’t know. I’ve never seen it do this.” Here I must confess that I did not tell him beforehand how I had worked with table tilting so many times before.
The table pushed me into the cabinet then against the wall. With great pressure it held me tight, fixed to that location. I as well as the others in the group understood the message from this incident. It was telling me that I needed to sit for phenomena development again. At this point I had not sat consistently for the previous year.
Our medium made sure that I was okay and said that he was offering a class in table tilting that would start in a couple of weeks. I decided to take the class and as I arrived for the first lesson I was told, “This will be a small table. We will be sitting in the cabinet to be on the safe side and to save the trip across the room.”
Not all mediums are physical mediums. Some are mental mediums whose work is done through telepathy. As he held me against the cabinet wall the message from Two Bear was to sit for phenomena, something that I had been long overdue to work with again. At the time I was more focused on traveling and exploring my new lifestyle as a nomad in a little RV.
Dallas, Texas, and the surrounding communities were not places in the late 1980s and early 1990s where one would expect to find a medium and I rarely referred to myself by that term. I started my circle gatherings in my home in 1984 with a few sitters who were eager to sit with me in order to learn about spirit. On Wednesday nights our group would gather for these special events. As years passed attendance grew by leaps and bounds but there was always a “core” group who came along with many visitors.
The community surrounding my work was growing fast and my circle room was bursting at the seams.
At one circle there were 30 people in a 9×12 foot room (with no complaints). My neighbors were complaining about the weekly gatherings because there was limited parking. This led to my having to choose between cancelling the circles or finding a more suitable place where they could continue. Ten years before spirit had told me, “You find the place. We will bring the people.”
Thanks to my student and real estate agent friend I did find a new location. She found a great place close to my house in a little office park. Now there would be room for parking and plenty of seating. I moved into my small but cozy new center. Spirit kept that promise and 40 to 45 people would attend the circles.
We removed one wall to accommodate everyone. There was plenty of seating on the floor along with the comfy chairs. Everyone who visited seemed to be comfortable. I had an office and a beautiful entryway. We held classes, circles, energy healing events and private appointments with lots of space to work in. Spirit gave the name “Circles of Lights” and it was perfect for the center. Some of the students volunteered to help at the ever-growing facility and sat providing core energy for the circles.
At every opportunity I would also visit communities of Spiritualists in other states. I investigated and sat in at many physical phenomena séances. I wanted to practice for the sake of my clients who were grieving over the loss of their loved ones. A mother and father who drove from North Oklahoma for an appointment helped to make the purpose of my mission clear.
As they entered my office they were holding one sneaker with a sock inside. They set it on my desk asking, “Please, can you bring our son to talk with us?” As I watched them cry I knew it was possible that I could produce their only child saying, “Hello,” I could help them and others in grief to experience physical proof of spirit. It could even be possible for them to see him, if only for a split second, to give comfort to the surviving family members.
I believed these phenomena would be like the icing on the cake of my mediumship and became very determined to achieve them. I would sit with my trumpets placed in the middle of the circle, all five of them along with Native American drums and rattles. As I gave messages in the dark séance room sitters would comment on the tapping sounds they heard. With their coats of luminous paint the sitters would see these instruments move in the dark and eventually levitate.
The night of one circle that mother from Oklahoma was sitting with us as lights began to illuminate the room. This was a miracle for her as well as for all who were there. We knew then that her son had answered her prayers.