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Excerpt from Under Spiritual Siege: By William Stillman

Excerpt from Under Spiritual Siege: How Ghosts and Demons Affect Us and How to Combat Them © 2016 by William Stillman, reprinted by permission courtesy of Schiffer Publishing.

How Spirit Communicates

Many people whom I have encountered don’t fully understand the sanctity of Heaven. The soul energies that exist there do so in a blissful state. And while they generally retain aspects of their personalities (or at least project aspects of those personalities in ways others would readily recognize), they do not harbor any resentments or ill will whatsoever. In fact, when I am interpreting or channeling a loved one in spirit who had a falling out with a family member, they have consistently provided assurances that any past arguments have absolutely no significance any longer. I have seen this occur many times when family members have had a blowout just prior to someone’s death. It creates a lot of guilt for the survivors and communicating that all is forgiven relieves a great burden. In Heaven, there exists only high-vibration, high-energy emotions, which are thoughts and feelings such as joy, happiness, the sensation of camaraderie, and, of course, unconditional love. (Nor is Heaven all about idly floating on a cloud and eating bonbons!)                                                                                                                                       

This concept is particularly challenging to communicate to families of missing persons or homicide victims. They are grieving a loss and want closure but their loved one is in a state of total bliss. Locating the cumbersome, heavy, low-energy physical body that once housed their soul or bringing their perpetrator to justice is not their agenda, it’s our agenda. From their vantage point, they have 360-degree vision; they see the big picture and they understand how their passing succinctly fits into it while we are still left puzzled and mourning. And so in communicating with those spirits, I frame my requests in the context of what their family requires to attain emotional peace and closure. That sometimes helps.                                                    

In one instance, I was tasked with providing any possible insight into the disappearance of Krissie who had vanished from her apartment in the middle of the night leaving behind her cell phone, purse and beloved dog. In meeting with her family, I was able to connect with her energy and channel her personality. (I never once said whether I believed she was living or deceased although I personally believed she was murdered; and I encouraged the family to take a proactive stance in holding out hope.) But when I began to “ask” Krissie specifics of what became of her, she put a “wall” up in front of me, crossed her arms, and communicated firmly, “No, it’s not done yet.” What she meant by this was that, spiritually, her circumstances was preordained—believe it or not. In fact, at one point, Krissie—through me—said very matter-of-factly and almost casually, “I wasn’t supposed to be here that long anyway.” This caused her mother to gasp and say, “She’s been telling me that ever since she was a little girl!” Krissie was more concerned with the good things her disappearance had brought out in others and in her community which had rallied in support of her family. She was very confident (to the point of being stubborn, which she was indeed in life) that everyone would learn from her tragic absence—even her perpetrators.                                                                                                                                

When I first encountered Krissie, in a psychic sense, she was dancing and twirling in a flowery meadow I have since come to learn is called Summerland. I had seen this place once before, in a dream. It was a very vivid dream in which I found myself on the outskirts of what I understood to be Heaven. It was a gorgeous wooded area with a beautiful meadow of green grass dotted with daisies. There was also a mesmerizing waterfall that butted up against what looked like a large music auditorium (I wasn’t able to go beyond this point). What I recall most about this dream experience is that all of my senses were heightened. I could inhale the wonderful pine aroma of the trees more than I normally could, and I felt as though I was one with the cascading waterfall just by looking at it. This dream was an enticing glimpse of the place of transition between Heaven and earth.                                                                                                                                          

In fact, dreams are one of the more common ways in which spirit communicates with us. It is a “safe” way to reach us because it occurs in a surreal state instead of playing out before us in real time, which could be extremely unsettling for many people. But since infancy, we’ve been conditioned to accept that in dreams the absurd is plausible and anything can happen, logically or otherwise. Because we are asleep and our minds are relaxed and undistracted, the dream becomes the vehicle by which we are a captive audience and spirit can reach us most effectively. Have you ever had a dream in which you were reunited with a loved one that had died? It should have been a joyful, pleasant experience. You probably communicated with him or her without remembering that either of you actually spoke by moving your mouth. This person may have looked much younger and healthier but you still recognized them. And you may have awakened from the dream weeping because the experience was bittersweet. If the dream was particularly vivid and met these criteria, it is called a visitation. And it is as real as you can come in human form to the kind of reunion that will occur once you reach Heaven.                                                                   

Another way in which our loved ones in spirit communicate with us is through the manipulation of certain creatures, birds and insects. Most often, we would associate the unexpected appearance of these creatures with memories we have of a specific person. For example, one client talked of how a unique bird with a call that sounded like, “Purdy, purdy, purdy” appeared within twenty-four hours of her birthday; it reminded her of her mother and how her mom always used to say, “Pretty, pretty, pretty.” It was comforting to my client and an appropriate way for her to interpret this interesting coincidence. In another instance, I had breakfast with a friend during which she shared her spiritual connection to hawks, and how she perceives them as “signs.” She told one story in particular about needing a sign while a passenger in a car, and a large hawk swooped right next to her window. On the drive home from meeting with her, I was thinking about this and, in that very moment, a hawk soared across the road in front of my car.                                                                                      

Common creatures that are spiritual calling cards tend to be butterflies, which are beautiful to look at and symbolize the ability of flight; bright red cardinals, whose striking color signifies the vibrancy of life-blood; and ladybugs, which symbolize releasing worry and frustration and trusting in God. Once, as I came out of the post office, I noticed that the license plate on the truck parked next to my car said, “3 LBUG,” and the license plate frame was decorated with ladybugs. As I stood there, a woman said, “Do you agree with that?” thinking I was looking at her “Yankees Suck!” bumper sticker. I asked if her license plate referred to ladybugs, and she said she calls her three nieces her three little ladybugs and buys them ladybug items.              

The unexpected appearance of such a creature may be magnified if it is not typically indigenous to your area, such as spotting an uncommon butterfly that is native to Texas and you live in Maine! And just to be clear: your loved one is not the reincarnation of a butterfly nor is your loved one a bird in cardinal form. But, if the timing of such a creature’s appearance seems profound, your loved one has likely impressed spiritual inspiration within the creature, causing it to be present at just the proper moment so that it resonates with you.                                                                                                  

Finding coins unexpectedly or in strikingly coincidental locations is in keeping with the idea of “pennies from Heaven” as another manner in which a loving spiritual presence communicates. (I recall my childhood dreams on two occasions of finding pennies on the front lawn and, upon awakening, actually had it happen!) Sometimes it’s a solitary and specific coin that we would connect in our fond thoughts of a special someone who has passed on. For example, if your grandma always said, “Penny for your thoughts,” and you find single pennies on your birthday or hers. Or if a favorite uncle always gave you commemorative quarters and when you occasionally find them, they’re often for your uncle’s home state. Sometimes the date stamped on the mysterious coin has significance, such as the date you were born or the date others close to you, such as a child, were born. Coins that manifest at relevant times or in unusual places are a tangible “communication” that many of us would understand enough to reconsider their meaning beyond mere luck.                                                                                                                                     

One of my favorite ways that loved ones in spirit can communicate is a similar manipulation: that of causing odors to fleeting (or, in some cases, lingeringly) waft around us. Our olfactory sense, meaning that of smell retention, is probably the strongest way we create an associative link in memory. For example, I was very close to my grandmother and whenever I think of her, I connect the scent of mothballs with memories of her because she used mothballs in everything! That smell is very distinctive and there’s nothing else like it. Do you associate certain, pleasant aromas with someone, such as a perfume or a cooking scent with a mother figure that’s passed on? Or an alcohol, aftershave or tobacco scent with a father figure who’s passed? Perhaps it is another, pleasing smell that you correspond in memory with a loved one that’s no longer in physical form.                                                                                                                                         

Just like impressing a creature to appear and trigger a happy memory, our loved ones can cause the scent by which you would best remember them to temporarily fill the space around you. It may coincide with your thinking of them, or it may align with a special event such as a family gathering, holiday, birthday or anniversary. In my work as a psychic, I find this is a common means of communication that I then convey to my clients (because they’re not smelling what I am). Sometimes a father figure will lovingly tease by making me smell the overwhelming scent of a cheap cologne that he received as a gift and obligingly doused himself with even though it wasn’t his preference!                                                                                                                      

Another method by which our loved ones in spirit may make their presence known is through the manipulation of electricity. It is important to note that this should not be disruptive or frightening such as the lights in your room suddenly blowing. This will be another type of memory association by which programming on the television or radio will adjust to prompt an immediate association with a loved one, such as when you’re driving along thinking about your favorite deceased aunt and in that precise moment her favorite song comes over the airwaves. Or the TV suddenly jumps channels to play an episode of a show in which a mother and daughter are making amends in the moment you are regretting that you and your mom left a lot of things unsaid. Occasionally, an electric light will gently flicker such as the time my grandmother and I were looking at old pictures and remembering my grandfather; the lamp directly over us sputtered in the moment of highest emotional expression. In the room in which I do private readings, there’s a night light that is always plugged in and turned on but sometimes it flashes wildly as if to validate what I’m communicating to a client. It’s comforting to interpret this as spiritual backup.                                                                                                                                      

Once I received a phone call that was a wrong number, but I believe it may have been spiritually orchestrated to prepare me for bad news.One Sunday morning in January 2003, I was thinking of my dear friend Evelyn, an elderly woman who lived about two hours away. I found myself wondering how she was, when I’d hear from her next and if she’d write or call. A while later that morning, the phone rang and a woman’s voice asked for “Evelyn.” When I told her she had dialed the number incorrectly, the woman said in a very warm, almost compassionate voice, “Oh, I’m so very sorry.” At about 6:30 p.m. that evening, Evelyn’s daughter called to tell me that Evelyn had passed away the previous Friday.                                                                                                                

In very rare instances, a loved one who has passed on will actually leave a voice message on an answering machine or other recording device. I have had this reported to me a number of times over the years from clients who have tape recorded their psychic readings with me, although this is generally quite uncommon.In one example, a client asked a question to which I replied that it wasn’t important for her to know the answer just yet. On the playback, a voice immediately preceding mine allegedly said, “Don’t tell her that.” In another instance I was sharing the green-glass turtle story, telling how no one knew how it got on the cemetery headstone or who put it there, and allegedly there was soft voice that answered, “Mikalah.” Another time, I was assuring someone about something connected to an oversight or mistake of her father’s which was followed by a male voice that said, “I didn’t know.” Now, I’m a highly skeptical person and I have very high standards for myself. I will disclose that I have never heard any of the preceding recordings so I cannot vouch for their authenticity; sometimes people hear what they want to hear. But once I did receive a CD in the mail from a client who had recorded her psychic reading with me. The voices on it are truly extraordinary.                                                                                                                                    

At one point in her psychic reading, I informed my client that I foresaw the potential for her to have another child if she so desired one. She responded by indicating that having another baby was not likely as she was in her early forties and she already had a twenty-one-year old and a seven-year old. But I reminded her that having another child could “look” a lot of different ways such as foster or adoptive parenting, babysitting or child care. Then I said, “I’m seeing a little boy.” While my client thought it was intriguing, she wasn’t quite convinced and we moved on. But in that moment on the recording playback, I swear, there’s a child’s voice that clearly says, “I’m ready for you.” (She later told me that when she got home and broached the subject of another child with her husband, he said he had been thinking about it but just hadn’t told her yet.)          As her psychic reading concluded, my client was saying goodbye to me while rifling through her purse for her car keys. Her recorder was still running during this time though she could not find her keys. At one point she dumped out the contents of her purse to no avail. After about ten minutes, she finally found her car keys in her purse! On the recording playback, there’s a woman’s voice—a very ordinary-sounding voice, actually—that interjects with, “Please stop her.” In debriefing, we both interpreted this as a moment of divine intervention in which a loved one in spirit, or maybe even an angel, had deliberately detained my client for her own safety (who knows, if she had left on time she might’ve been in an accident).                                                

Instead of a recording, sometimes people will audibly hear the voice of a loved one that has passed on, perhaps reassuring them or cautioning them. Also less common is when a small object that we associate in memory with a loved one reappears out of place, such as finding your great-grandfather’s old pocket watch in the middle of your bed instead of locked away in your jewelry box, where it’s always been for safekeeping. Examples similar to these should not be frightening experiences but, instead, should be sentimental reminders that we are still connected to our loved ones despite their transition from the physical world to the Heavenly realm.                                                                                      

On occasion, the soul energy of a loved one in spirit will make its presence known in photographs or videos, usually in the form of an airborne sphere called an orb. In my experience, I have found that orbs representing the soul energy of someone that has passed on will manifest at times of high, loving and positive emotion. This typically occurs at reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, holidays, or the birth of a new baby—times when family members are gathered together and, perhaps, sharing memories that include the dearly departed. In one instance, the patriarch of a family “took” his place in a family portrait by appearing as a white orb in an appropriate and unobtrusive position—precisely where one might expect him to stand. In another picture, two teenage brothers pose next to the grave marker of a baby brother who had died in infancy. Right beside them is a perfectly-formed round orb. In a couple examples, I have consecutive photographs in which orbs appear, taken seconds apart. In both situations, the orbs have moved location and intensified in size or appearance. In both instances, there was a loving bond between the individuals in the pictures, such as the mother and daughter who joined hands together as an orb blossomed into an effervescent swoosh in front of them. Orbs can be white or a golden hue or sometimes soft blue, violet or rose-colors. I have also seen videos of orbs seemingly materializing out of nowhere and quickly traveling and bobbing about.                                  

I was once explaining orbs to a young man who was recently married. He said there was a rather pronounced orb in one of his wedding pictures. When we took a look, there it was: imprinted directly over top of where his hand clasped that of his new bride’s for their first dance. His wife believed it was the essence of her stepfather, with whom she had been quite close. I knew that on occasion, if you enlarged orb photos electronically, you could see interesting or unusual shapes and patterns. Fortunately, my friend had the same picture on his computer and we blew it up for a close-up view of the orb. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since! It looked exactly like a rose in bloom, with perfectly-scalloped edges and rows of petals within petals. It was truly a gift from Heaven, in my opinion and in that of my friend.

About the Author:

Psychic medium William Stillman is the internationally known, award-winning author of the Autism and the God Connection book trilogy that explores aspects of spiritual giftedness in many people with autism. These books encompass Autism and the God Connection, The Soul of Autism, and The Autism Prophecies. His paranormal books include Conversations with Dogs: A Psychic Reveals What Our Canine Companions Have to Say (And How You Can Talk to Them Too!) and Under Spiritual Siege: How Ghosts and Demons Affect Us and How to Combat Them.  

        Since 2004, Stillman has worked professionally as a psychic and spiritual counselor. His accuracy in discerning the truth and making predictions that come to fruition has been acclaimed by his clients as truly extraordinary. He has been consulted on missing person and unsolved homicide cases. He also volunteers his time as an investigative resource to the Pennsylvania Paranormal Association.

        Stillman has been interviewed on numerous radio shows of a paranormal nature including Coast to Coast AM, the most listened to overnight radio program in North America. He has been interviewed on the Web series CharVision by internationally renowned psychic medium Char Margolis, who called Stillman “really fascinating,” and he has been a guest on the popular YouTube series Swedenborg and Life. Stillman has been a repeated guest speaker for Lily Dale Assembly near Jamestown, NY, the country's oldest spiritualist community.


       Stillman’s Web site is and his Facebook page is “William Stillman Psychic Medium.”

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