Guest Writer: Cat Calhoun on Death, Dying and Beyond, Part 5

When I first heard it, it was just the sound of whispering behind boarded up windows. I was in New Orleans, five years after Hurricane Katrina ripped through the city, leaving debris, chaos, and desperation in its’ wake. I had been photographing a ruined church, capturing the beauty in the devastation and abandonment. Hearing the disembodied voices, I lowered my camera and cocked my head to one side. What was that? After a few moments of silence, I decided it was probably either nothing at all or perhaps some homeless people sheltering in the vacant church. I kept photographing until I heard it again. I stopped to listen and this time the whisper said my name: “Catherine. Dawn. Calhoun.”

I scarcely had time to think, “Hey, now. No one calls me that but my mom,” when I felt something blow into my body like a strong breeze through a window, enter the center of my left shoulder blade and settle into my trunk. I was instantly overwhelmed with a huge desire to get as drunk as possible. Granted, I’ve spent some time diligently working my way toward the bottom of various alcohol bottles, but this drive to inebriate was very odd because 1) it was 10 o’clock in the morning and 2) I don’t even like the taste of alcohol (thanks to numerous hangovers in my youth).

Nevertheless, I stowed my camera in my pack and jogged about a half a block to catch up with my partner, who had walked on ahead of me as I had photographed. I locked my arm into hers and said enthusiastically, “Hey, let’s go get a drink!” She gave me a weird look and a resounding no. I grumbled a bit, but we didn’t go drinking. As a matter of fact, the rest of the trip was pretty much alcohol free even though the cravings continued, and we returned home without drunken incident.

Unfortunately for my ‘hitchhiker,’ I’ve logged enough time on this planet to have some truly awful hangovers, as previously mentioned, and have zero desire to repeat that particular experience. Unfortunately for me, the more I refused my hitchhiker’s desires, the more agitated I became until finally, a month later, I was a seething, angry mess. Enter the previously referenced, Barbara The Energy Ninja. Barbara called her favorite helper for this kind of work, a being she experiences as the Archangel Michael, and the angel escorted my passenger to a better, more appropriate place. The anger and the deep desire for alcohol left immediately. And I was left with a whole new concept to ponder: possession.


Devils and demons, according to the theology of my childhood, were lurking around every corner and under every stone, waiting to pounce on the unwary and either possess or beguile them. Though I accepted this teaching in my youth, the questions and inconsistencies mounted in my adult years until finally I scrapped everything I’d been taught about spirituality and for several years believed nothing at all. Though I had slowly rebuilt a lot of my spiritual practice in ways that worked for me over the ensuing years, the concept of any kind of spiritual possession was left unaddressed in a corner of my mental attic, written off as a power and control mechanism wielded by the theological elite to keep the masses frightened and in line.

The experience in New Orleans prompted me to retrieve this dismissed and forgotten concept and to look at it with fresh eyes. It was clearly a “possession” experience, but at no point did it look like anything scripted in the movies, nor did it resemble anything I was taught in my childhood. It wasn’t frightening, but it was weird and uncomfortable. Based on what I understand now, I think what happened was that I encountered an “earth bound spirit.”

An earthbound spirit is what is left when someone dies but doesn’t make a smooth transition between physical life and death. From a shamanic viewpoint, these bodies we walk around in are on loan to us, consisting of components we borrow from the Earth for a time. When we are done with this life, we return those elements back to the Earth, allowing the soul, mind, and consciousness to disconnect from that combination of physical elements.

In a “good” death experience, a dying person goes through a process of letting go. They might let go of people they love by saying goodbye. They could let go of attachment to possessions that hold meaning to them by having a will in place or by giving their possessions away to people they think would love them. The person could also have a living will, which indicates they have a sense that they will let go of the body at some point and might even need help releasing the anchors holding them to physical existence. They might also have a cosmological belief system that would give them a sense of comfort about what happens after their body dies. All of these things will help a person move easily from this version of reality into What Is Next.

Earthbound spirits, for whatever reason, have attachments that keep them tied to their former lives. An earthbound spirit might have died suddenly or in such a way that they didn’t understand their own dying process, as discussed in the previous article. Others might feel very attached to people, to things in their lives, or to the experience of living, leaving them partially connected to their previous physical existence and lost in the process of transition. It was one of these people/earthbound spirits that found me. Perhaps it was not even aware that it had hitched a ride. It might simply have been looking for light, energy, or something that felt familiar and comforting. In this case, that comfort and familiarity might have been a shot of whiskey … or five.

Though I was taught in my youth that possession should be met with exorcism, this is not a great approach in most instances. Earthbound spirits are suffering and in need. Exorcism might work, but will not help the spirit heal and may result in them getting sucked back into the original person they were kicked out of when they find themselves again, wandering, hurting, and looking for some kind of solid ground.

By contrast, “de-possession” seeks to bring resolution to the entire situation, helping the earthbound spirit to find a way to detach from this life and move on into light, growth, and healing. In the best possible outcome, the person who was ‘possessed’ is also healed when they seek ways to strengthen their own energy field from the inside out so that the weak spots in their field are strengthened and are no longer vulnerable to outside interference.

It has been my experience that most possession events are earthbound spirits looking for help in some way, though they may not know what has happened to them, what kind of help they need, or even that they have slipped into someone’s personal space. True, the combination of a living person and an earthbound spirit gets pretty uncomfortable and can have malevolent results, but this is more likely to be the result of the incompatible chemistry rather than some kind of demonic intent. In most of these encounters, de-possession is the best treatment. There is no battle to be waged, no war to be fought, just a win-win for both parties.


Do you feel like you relate a little too much to the concept of possession as it’s been described? You might need some help from a de-possession expert. Contact a local shamanic practitioner who is trained in this form of work. It’s a gentle experience that heals everyone.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 , Part 4 of this series.

Cat Calhoun has been Clinic in whiteseeing dead people for more than 50 years, but that’s not her only claim to fame. She is also a licensed acupuncture practitioner, a Shamanic practitioner, and a certified Usui Reiki Master Therapist whose overwhelming passion is weaving this physical existence into the greater whole of Who We Are.


Guest Writer: Cat Calhoun on Death, Dying and Beyond, Part 4


For two months the dreams just wouldn’t stop. The images were foreign, the sequences disturbing, the content anxious. Pedaling a three-wheeled cab through unfamiliar streets in Ireland, passing buildings painted in vivid shades of blue, green, and orange. Sneaking into and out of a mental hospital in Louisiana with my friend Brigid to escape an evil sheriff. Wading through a swamp filled with dying animals calling to me for help I could not give.

Brigid had died several weeks prior to the onset of these vivid, heavy dreams. It took me weeks to realize the images belonged not to me, but to Brigid. One night her presence was so real, so sad, so confused that both my partner and I woke in the middle of the night from the heaviness and oppressive quality her suffering mind carried. I saw her clearly that night – red hair flowing as if she was under water, crying in confusion and fear. I did the only thing I could think to do at the moment. I used Reiki to create a safe bubble for her, inviting her to get in and rest. I remember her lying there in her temporary safe zone, her face finally relaxing as I gifted her Reiki energy.

Brigid haunted my nights, not out of maliciousness, but perhaps hoping I could see her, hear her, and give her some grounding. She was reaching out to me for help, but her loss had left me weak with grief. And just as in the dreams she poured into my sleeping hours, I could do little to help.

It took the assistance of my friend Barbara, a serious energy ninja, before I found help for Brigid. Barbara saw how fatigued I was. She sat me down and put her hands on my head as I closed my eyes. In my mind, I saw a dimly lit room in which Brigid was facing me, her eyes locked with mine. After what seemed to be only a few moments, a tall door opened behind Brigid. I saw what looked like highway yellow beyond the opening. She turned toward it and with a bright flash of light she was gone.

The oppressive heaviness I’d felt on my shoulders, in my head, and in my chest for so many weeks lifted immediately. I cried with relief as I called my wife to say that she was gone, crossed over, and hopefully at peace. When asked for details, all I could do was cry with joy and say, “Barbara called her a cab.” I had no idea why I phrased it this way.

Some months later I was at an unseasonably cool fall gathering. It would have been Brigid’s 57th birthday in a few days. I saw Brigid’s daughter, who had been by her side through her illness. Knowing about my ability to talk with those who have crossed over, she asked if I had seen her mother. When I said yes, she wanted to know everything I’d experienced. I was reluctant to tell her until she reminded me that she was there through it all, witness to both her mother’s physical deterioration and the fears her hallucinations had bred.

So I told her. I told her about the disturbing images and fragmented dreams. I told her about the night Brigid’s presence was so vivid. I told her about the visions of carrying her mother’s nearly weightless skin-and-bones body, blood leaking out of every orifice as she begged me for help I was powerless to render. And I told her about Barbara, the flash of yellow, and “calling the cab.”

She was quiet for a moment. Then she softly confirmed the dreams as reflective of her mother’s visions and declining health. After another quiet moment she asked, “Did you know my uncle was a cab driver?” I hadn’t. Brigid and her brother were extremely close. I knew she had mourned him deeply when he died. And I now knew that she had gone with him when he came to pick her up.


When someone dies while not fully connected to what we would consider “reality” (i.e., people in comas, those who are suffering from dementia, people who are hallucinating), there is the possibility that they are not aware that they have died. My friend needed help understanding what had happened to her. When Barbara was able to reach through the fog, to tell Brigid what had happened, and to offer her a way past the twilight awareness and confusion, she accepted it.

I think Brigid would have eventually found her way, as most ‘earth bound’ spirits do, though their concept of time is very different from ours and so it might seem to us that it takes a long time to progress. We can still, however, render assistance from this side of the energetic fence to ease the pain and suffering for those we have lost.

Many shamanic practitioners offer what is called psychopomp work. A psychopomp enters the shamanic state, calling on helper spirits to seek for the spirits of those who have died. If the person is found, we ask the person/spirit if they are comfortable where they are and if they would like help progressing forward. Guardian and helping spirits are always available and eager to help when called upon. If the individual wants to stay where they are for the time being, we will remind them that when they are ready, they can always call for help and help will come.

If you want to check up on someone you care about, contact a shamanic practitioner or rescue medium that is trained in working with those who have transitioned past this physical life. This work can be done either with a local practitioner or remotely, giving those who do not have a shamanic practitioner in their area the ability to offer help to those they love.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of this series.

Cat Calhoun has been Clinic in whiteseeing dead people for more than 50 years, but that’s not her only claim to fame. She is also a licensed acupuncture practitioner, a Shamanic practitioner, and a certified Usui Reiki Master Therapist whose overwhelming passion is weaving this physical existence into the greater whole of Who We Are.

Guest Writer: Cat Calhoun on Death, Dying and Beyond, Part 3

To read part 2 of this series click here!
To read part 1 of in this series click here!

Loose Ends

“Time to see what Santa brought,” my dad’s voice said, cutting through the fog of sleep blanketing my brain. My father was always kid-like at Christmas, no matter who was getting the presents and no matter what else was going on. I remember smiling at the thought of the packages that had been multiplying under the Christmas tree over the past days. I had crept out of bed the previous night to peek into the living room while my parents did last minute wrapping and arranging. I had spotted a shiny red tricycle under the branches and even in my current half-asleep state, I was longing to take a spin around the house.

Dad scooped me up in his strong right arm, carrying me into the living room. My mother joined us in the hall as we paused to look at the big fir next to the fireplace, glowing with lights and dripping with icicles. “Where’s Ma’maw?” I asked, wiping sleep out of my eyes. I felt my father’s shoulder sag slightly. Beside me, my mother began to cry softly. That’s when I knew: Ma’maw was never coming home again. That red tricycle suddenly didn’t matter.

Cat and Ma'mawElizabeth Stallcup, whom I called “Ma’maw,” was my grandmother, my primary care giver, my roommate, and my best friend. Ma’maw had long silver hair she wore pinned up into a bun. She sported rimless glasses. She had a regal posture like only a person born at the end of the Victorian era could have. She was a kind woman with a loving word for everyone. Even now, more than half a century after her passing, the elders in my family speak of her in hushed tones as if she was a demigoddess.

But her kindness and grace could not save her from what I now realize were TIA’s (transient ischemic attacks), or mini-strokes. She had them for months before The Big One took her away from me on Christmas Eve of my 3rd year. Though I grieved for her deeply, she continued to visit me. Our interactions were sharp and clear for a long while after her passing and I spoke with her often during my childhood.

As I aged I saw her less and less. By the time I was in my teens I spoke with her only in my dreams. Our interactions did not return to their original waking sharpness and clarity until a rather traumatic experience in my late 30’s. She physically touched me during this experience, shaking me out of a deep hypothermic state, saving my life. I still remember opening my eyes to see Ma’maw shimmering in the moonlight, smiling down at me and saying, “You have to wake up now. It’s not time. They are going to be calling for you soon.” She was right. This shifted my awareness and reopened my eyes to the intersection of the physical and non-physical realities that our culture edits out of conscious waking awareness.

Some years later, after the break up of an 18-year relationship, I sought out a therapist to help me sort through my wreckage. To my surprise, we talked only a little about the breakup, but a lot about my grandmother, my early loss of her, and how that had affected my whole life. It may seem strange to say it, but until then I had never really thought about how this grief had shaped me and how I related to others.

One afternoon, my therapist asked me to invite my grandmother into the room with us. I was extremely hesitant to do this. Though I had long been a frequent flyer on the Dead People Express at this point, I didn’t really talk about it much because I wasn’t sure if I was 1) making it all up with my notably vivid imagination, or 2) hallucinating the entire set of experiences. Before I called my grandmother in, I remember thinking, “Well, this is probably the session where she recommends psyche meds.”

Despite my misgivings, I took the plunge anyway. I invited Ma’maw into the room, sending a kind of shout-out to her in my mind. She arrived next to the door into the office with a small “pop.” She crossed the room diagonally and sat down on the sofa across from me, crossing one leg gracefully over the other and sitting upright with her impeccable posture.

To my complete astonishment, my therapist described where she entered the room, the path she had taken, where and how she sat down, what she was wearing, how her hair was arranged…every detail down to the rimless glasses she wore. This was my first inkling that others might be able to see what I saw. I wasn’t losing my sanity. After the initial surprise, I felt elated and free. Over the following months I was able to accept and appreciate more about myself. I also talked to my grandmother more frequently and with no underlying fears that I was inventing or hallucinating our conversations.

On the 40th anniversary of my grandmother’s physical death, a rainy Christmas Eve, I was able to help both of us move forward. Alone on the holiday for the first time in years, I called to her and she came to visit. I started by telling her how much I missed her, how hard it was to be without her, and how much grief I had after she left. I found myself finally expressing my long-held anger at being abandoned, left with people who didn’t “get” me, who steeped me in self-hatred and shame. I told her how the loss of her and the fear of being abandoned again had fractured all of my relationships. I let all of the ugly things with which I had been poisoning myself out into the light.

She never flinched, never got defensive, just listened without judgment. When I stalled she simply nodded and urged me to continue. Finally, I ran out of both words and tears. After a pause, radiating incredible kindness, she said, “I wondered how long it would take you to tell me that. You’ve needed to admit this for a long time.” I agreed. I’d never allowed myself to even think these things.

We talked a little more. I thanked her for letting me say what I had needed to say, to feel what I needed to allow myself to feel. I felt clearer and lighter than I ever had in my life. At last she cocked her head to one side, paused, then said, “Are we finished?” I knew what she meant. We were. The loose dangly endings of our relationship were cleanly knitted together.

The moment was bittersweet. I knew I wouldn’t see her much for a long while. She had been waiting for me to grow to the place that I could embrace all of this. Our business was complete and she could move on.


We all know the classic children’s storybook ending “and they lived happily ever after.” This is a neat little wrap up to a story and, while it may be true that Cinderella and the Prince were able to dwell in wedded bliss for the remainder of their days, it certainly glosses over the inevitable challenges of being in relationship. ‘Living happily ever after’ edits out inevitable realities of life such as disagreements over what color to paint the throne room, their children’s “terrible twos,” complaints from unhappy citizens, seven year itches, Prince Jr.’s teenage rebellious period, and Cinderella’s menopause.

This is similar to what happens with descriptions about what happens after death. Neat wrap-up descriptions such as dying and going to heaven (or even dying and going to hell) put a convenient veneer over the post-mortem realities of finishing up the loose ends left after one dies or of waiting on a spouse (or others to whom one feels intense loyalty). Our loved ones do move on after death, but they may not move on at the speed we are taught to expect.

And sometimes they don’t move on because they are caught in the confusion surrounding their death. Those souls need some help understanding what happened to them and what their options are. But that’s a topic for next week’s blog post!

Cat Calhoun has been Clinic in whiteseeing dead people for more than 50 years, but that’s not her only claim to fame. She is also a licensed acupuncture practitioner, a Shamanic practitioner, and a certified Usui Reiki Master Therapist whose overwhelming passion is weaving this physical existence into the greater whole of Who We Are.

Guest Writer: Cat Calhoun on Death, Dying and Beyond, Part 2

To read the first article in this series click here!

The Waiting Game

My mother is a social butterfly, an extrovert’s extrovert. It takes her nearly an hour to leave any gathering because she’s got a warm hug, a story, a joke for everyone in her goodbyes. My father was an introvert’s introvert, a man with a stutter born to a perpetually unhappy, perfectionist mother. He learned at an early age that silence was more powerful than speech. While my mother completed her lengthy social goodbye rituals, he would step outside for smokes and wait (mostly) patiently for her to finish her verbal choreography.

You would think those smokes would have killed him, since he went through at least a pack a day for the better part of 50 years, but they didn’t. Death came looking for him, not in a hood and sickle, but in the form of an aggressive melanoma. Chemotherapy was the deathblow. After the third round, he slipped quietly into a coma then slipped just as quietly through the doorway between life and death.

Three months after his funeral, I went back to visit my mother. I’d been there several days when I felt his presence in his woodworking shop. I turned to look for him and saw him sitting in the dark on the stool in the corner, slumped and looking defeated. Despite my experience seeing dead folks, I was surprised he was there. For some reason I expected my father, a fundamentalist Christian who was serious about his faith, to have had the ‘through the tunnel to the light’ kind of experience. Instead, he was perched on a stool in his shop in the dark, looking dejected and confused.

I greeted him and explained that he didn’t need to stay there, that mom was going to be ok, that he had made us strong, and that there were others waiting for him on the other side. After a few beats and without looking at me, he finally nodded and then was gone.

Because I’ve had these types of experiences throughout my life, I’ve actively sought ways to understand them. Shamanism has proven to be the most effective for me. In shamanic practice, you travel to a non-physical reality to more easily interact with Spirit. You can get help and advice this way for both mundane and spiritual matters. The technique is to park your body in a comfortable position, then shift your brain into a Theta state, most often by listening to drumming at a certain resonance and number of beats per minute.

Years after my father’s death, I took a shamanic training on what happens after one dies and how to work with that. One of the exercises in this training was to find someone who had died in the previous decade or so, preferably someone with whom we’d had relationship of some kind. I decided to go check on my dad. Assistance for my search came to me in the form of a raven and a hawk. The three of us flew upward together, around an incredibly large tree that reached miles up into the sky. About ¾ of the way up I heard Raven call out, “Got him!” and we flew in.

I found myself in what looked like a transportation hub. Changing back to my bipedal

Shadow figure
Original Artwork by Cat Calhoun

locomotive self, I walked through it for just a few minutes when I saw my dad, sitting at the counter of what looked like a typical airport Starbucks. He was just sitting and waiting, wearing his trademark dad gear – “gimme” cap, plaid short-sleeved shirt, jeans, and sneakers. He didn’t seem depressed like he did at our last encounter, but he didn’t really seem happy either. I told him that he could move out of whatever level he was in anytime he wanted to and that all he had to do was call for help. He said he was fine where he was for now, then he ignored me and sipped his coffee. Once again, I was puzzled at his seeming reticence to “be with the Lord,” as he used to put it. Finally, I wished him well and said goodbye. He hardly seemed to notice me leaving.

Over the following weeks, this shamanic experience bubbled up in my consciousness many times. Why was dad so unwilling to move on? Answers in the shamanic world are not always instant. Sometimes it takes a bit for the pieces to fall into the right order at the right time. The pieces of this interaction didn’t fall into place until I began to write this article. Then I knew.  My father hasn’t moved on because he is still doing what he’s done most of his life: he’s waiting for mom, patiently and quietly occupying himself until she is done with her goodbyes.

A soul’s journey after leaving the physical form may include this waiting game. Understanding this can help us comprehend the deeper meanings of our experiences: why people don’t move on, why some us see dead people, and why there are so many stories of hauntings.

Cat Calhoun has been Clinic in whiteseeing dead people for more than 50 years, but that’s not her only claim to fame. She is also a licensed acupuncture practitioner, a Shamanic practitioner, and a certified Usui Reiki Master Therapist whose overwhelming passion is weaving this physical existence into the greater whole of Who We Are.

Guest Writer: Cat Calhoun on Death, Dying, and Beyond

Hi all,

Please welcome the first guest writer of our series, Cat Calhoun.

“I see dead people…”

I was in my early 40’s before I saw them again. The traffic was flowing heavily down 7th Street in downtown Austin as I stood at the corner along with twenty-five or so other pedestrians waiting for the “Walk” sign. A young man with chin-length dark hair wearing a faded black shirt and cargo pants wove his way through the crowd without breaking his stride, somehow touching no one in the tight pack of office workers. He stepped into the street without changing his pace, though cars were still flowing at the maximum allowable speed.

“Wait!” I shouted, alarmed at his seeming oblivion. I shot my arm out, hoping to grasp his backpack and stop him, but came away with nothing but air. I winced involuntarily, waiting for the inevitable thud of body on metal, but he wove his way through the cars as if the scene was choreographed. No one honked, no tires screeched and no one slowed down, including the man in the black t-shirt.

He crossed the street without incident as I watched, dumbfounded. I turned to the suit-and-tie guy next to me and asked incredulously, “Did you see that?!” He had clearly been looking the same direction I was, and no he didn’t have a cell phone in his hand. “See what?” he asked, looking at me a little puzzled. Instead of answering, I looked across the street to see the guy in the faded black t-shirt looking back at me, grinning. He waved at me, then turned and walked right through the middle of a big light pole and disappeared.

My brain went “sizzle…..POP!” as it tried to process what had just happened and then flatly refused to think. I stood in place, unable to move, as the other office workers crossed at the Walk sign. For reasons unknown, I turned around and walked the other direction down Congress Avenue, not really sure where I was going. I turned east on 6th Street, seeing but not really noticing the sparse pedestrian traffic around me.

After a few blocks my brain apparently rebooted itself and I remember asking internally, and yet, as if I was speaking to someone, “How many of the people I am seeing here are not actually physically present?” My breath caught as no less than six people – an older couple across the street, a sad looking man in a polo shirt and jeans, a mother and a child, and a young man who looked homeless – stopped in their tracks, turned to look directly at me, and smiled. A couple of them waved. And I kinda freaked out. All I remember clearly after that is making a beeline back to my office, which was blissfully free of non-corporeal people, and hiding for the rest of the day.


I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian religion that gave a simple algebraic formula for what happens after you die. If you died as a Christian, you get a life review, get shamed for what you did wrong, go to heaven anyway, then spend the rest of eternity singing hymns and praising God. If you died a non-Christian, you get a life review, get shamed for what you did wrong, then you spend eternity being horribly tortured for what were predominantly thought crimes committed while you had a physical form.

The problem with that formula was that I knew differently even as a little kid. I used the word “again” in the first sentence of this article when I referred to seeing them for a reason. When I was three years old, my grandmother, “Ma’maw,” who was my caregiver, my best friend and my roommate, died. My grief was a deep well that seemed to have no floor. I sank further into it every day after she died until my mom and dad took me to a child psychologist who suggested that I probably wouldn’t heal until we moved out of the house we had all shared together.

Contrary to my Christian teaching, after we moved into a new house, I began to see Ma’maw and to talk with her, which I found very comforting. She wasn’t really gone, she’d just moved to another location and that location didn’t seem to include being sequestered in some kind of eternal church service. As I began to emerge from the haze of my grief I realized I wasn’t the only one affected by my grandmother’s death. My mother was also profoundly lost without her.

I found Mom crying at the kitchen table one day and saw Ma’maw standing behind her. She told me to tell my mother that everything was going to be OK, that she was watching over us, and that she was in a good place. Even though my mother’s sense of relief was instant as I relayed the message and her tears dried, she told me never to say anything like this again. Message received. My mother was comforted, but she was as freaked out as I was by Faded Black T-shirt Guy that day on Congress Avenue. I kept all communications to myself after that, though I continued to speak with my grandmother for some time.

Little children seem to be closer to wherever it is we all come from and return to than adults or even older children are. Perhaps this is why the connection to Spirit is easier for little kids, but fades for many of us as we age. Mine certainly did. Further deepening this problem is our own cultural indoctrination: only that which you experience physically and can prove through testing is real, matters of physical survival are more important than matters of energy or spirit, focus on your education and career is more important than anything else, religious authority trumps the personal experience of Spirit. These tenets are repeated unceasingly in various ways until we almost have no choice but to accept them.

Over time my connection to my grandmother seemed to fade. My ability to see her and to experience the non-physical wonder around me went dark as I pulled the hood further and further over my own eyes. Soon I could only talk with her in my dreams….until I saw the guy in the faded black t-shirt.

When Faded Black T-shirt Guy (may all the deities bless him) yanked that hood away from my vision, my world got a lot bigger. Dying is not the end, but a step to one side and the beginning of a new journey. As I began to interact with these journeyers I have learned a lot about who we are, where it is we might be going, how we get stuck from time to time on our path even after we die … and how to get unstuck.


In the next article in this series we’ll explore possessions and hauntings, a different perspective on what that is, and how to resolve those.

Death, Dying, and Beyond

A series by Cat Calhoun, Shamanic Practitioner

Cat CalhounClinic in white has been seeing dead people for more than 50 years, but that’s not her only claim to fame. She is also a licensed acupuncture practitioner, a Shamanic practitioner, and a certified Usui Reiki Master Therapist whose overwhelming passion is weaving this physical existence into the greater whole of Who We Are.