Day of the Dead

‘I’m a Dreamer’ by Josephine Foster

And how we can connect to those in the after-life

Like any good card-carrying mystic, the topic of ghosts and spirits is one of my favorites.

Who doesn’t like a good ghost story? They’re nearly always interesting. They’re also a great entry-point into broader spiritual considerations. 

You might’ve noticed that experiences with spirits can seem almost like a “gateway drug” to a more spiritually-oriented life. For a lot of us, before we believed in the “other side,” we had some brush with the paranormal. Often, these experiences with ghosts or spirits in the house or other unexplained sightings may have been a seed for our later spiritual development. Our first clues as to the realm of the soul.

Our experiences with spirits of the dead are often important milestones on the mystical journey.

So, with that said, I’d like to share my own experiences with spirits who have “crossed over.” I’m calling this entry “Day of the Dead” because my first major contact with spirits as a meditator occurred on that holy day.

Day of the Dead (or Dia de Muertos in Spanish) or All Saints Day for Catholics is on November 2nd. Actually, very near Halloween or Samhain – a time of the year when a lot of folks agree the veil (or partition) between the realm of matter and the realm of spirit is especially thin. That means that contact between the worlds is much easier and the communication is clearer. 

Did you know that Americans used to picnic in cemeteries? Photo from Atlas Obscura

It is absolutely possible to connect with souls who have crossed over. It’s really easiest to do this during transitional or liminal places on the calendar like Day of the Dead, but you can really explore this at any time.

I learned this when my grandmother’s spirit came to me and joyfully announced that “We don’t really die” in a vision. November 2nd was approaching at that time, and I was planning a trip to her gravestone. Her spirit explained that I could leave her gifts and that she could receive them. 

This surprised me at the time, because I was raised in the Protestant branch of the Christian church, which as a tradition doesn’t have a strong practice of ministering to souls in the afterlife.

But, of course, when you look across the whole spectrum of spiritual and religious systems, there are plenty of traditions that have robust practices of ministering to loved-ones that have crossed-over. Egypt, for instance, took this to the highest level that I know of. Contemporary archeology has uncovered their elaborate ministrations that aimed to make prosperous lives for kings and queens in the afterlife. To protect souls as they made the crossing to the after-life. It’s all really pretty fascinating. If you’re interested in exploring this tradition more, I recommend the Egyptian Book of the Dead

So, after my grandmother’s spirit came in really clearly and set me straight, I started meditating annually on Day of the Dead in order to make contact with my loved-ones in the after-life. Lots of my immediate family and extended family are on the other side, so it’s quite an eventful meditation usually!

I do recommend this practice on Nov. 2 because of the helpful energetic boost, but it’s absolutely possible to make contact on any day of the year. Here’s how I set up the meditation:

1. Designate a sacred space

Designate a sacred space like an altar where you can place your loved-ones pictures, any candles, flowers, incense and gifts you’d like to leave for them.  

2. Use prayer and intention

Open your meditation with a protective prayer like you would any other time, and use an intention that connects you to your loved-one. Here’s what has worked for me: “Guides, what messages are available about my mother?” I prefer that to “Mother, where and how are you?”

Mediums usually connect directly to the soul. I found that to be a little heavy and ..I dunno..too much, so I use indirect intentions like the one above. That way, my guides show me psychically how folks are and deliver messages between us. Your input will come in through your unique psychic vocabulary. Could be clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience or claircognizance etc. 

3. Dedicate a specific candle to your loved-one

This is a little practice I developed on my own, and feel free to use it in your practice. I like to designate specific candles for each member of my family that is in the after-life. I’ve said a prayer and set an intention that when my mother’s candle is lit, our unique line of communication is open. Or when the candle for my father is lit, the line between us is active. I hope that makes sense.

So, I light any and all those dang things on Day of the Dead. I put them near their pictures, and we connect. You could call this a ritual candle practice. It works because this is a rule I established for my psyche, and so my subconscious mind is primed to be open to a certain experience when those candles are lit. It just feels magical and holy all at once, and I definitively recommend it. 

4. Build a bridge to the other-side with gifts

I think it’s a lovely practice to pick a unique gift for your crossed-over loved-one and leave it for them either at their gravestone or your altar or even at the table if you prepare a holiday meal. According to my grandmother’s spirit (who is a sassy, very wise lady) this does work. They do receive our gifts. I believe our gifts even help to build the psychic bridge to the other side, so it should help strengthen the connection.

5. Call on your ancestors

It’s also possible to connect with ancestors during this holy day or energy window. But really.. my guides tell me our ancestors want to connect all the time.

It’s important to build connections with your ancestors into your meditation practice in general because our linages contain codes for our spiritual karma or soul themes and our challenges and gifts. There’s medicine there and our unique spiritual heritage.

For instance, on both sides of my family there is a deep Native American heritage. When I ask to speak to guides, First Nations themes come in so readily. I also have a ancestral experience in Celtic Ireland and England, and so Avalon and a deeply druidic experience is available to me when I go into meditation and ask for that connection.

My ancestral contact experiences have been so nourishing and gorgeous. There’s a feeling of deep resonance and belonging that comes with ancestral connection.

So, go for it! I would be so curious to know what you find when you ask to connect to your ancestors. It’s such a important part of the spiritual development process.

Please note that family and ancestral wounds will come forward in this process. Like in my family, the wounds of slavery and addiction came forward. The wounds of rape and abandonment came forward to be healed. So, be sure to prepare yourself for lots of healing. Make sure you’e in a strong place emotionally during that meditation. Make sure you are able to surround yourself with enough love, divinity and peace that can absorb the shadow from your cellular memory. Ancestral meditations and healings are very adult moments. So, just know that. But man…enjoy the strength and the wisdom and the spiritual keys that you earn from that journey. 

Here’s an intention I like to use for those journeys: “Guides, what messages are available from my ancestors?” or “Guides, what ancestral wounds need to be healed within me?” And do try “What spiritual gifts and medicine are available from my ancestors?”

6. Some souls need assistance with crossing over

Do know that not all souls experience the same thing on the other side. I’ve seen this in my own family. I was shown that mother did reach her final resting place. My father’s soul, on the other hand, did struggle in the cross-over experience, because he had a very heavy lifetime.

My guides helped me pray for him and aid him, but it was a lot to encounter his spiritual struggle on the other side. According to what I saw, he was having a hard time forgiving himself and identifying with the light realms. I’m so glad we can see into these matters, because of course that helped me know to assist him through prayer and petition to the angelic realm.

I don’t claim to know the in’s and out’s of mediumship, but I do know there are mystics who specialize in helping souls cross over. It’s a real ministry. When people die with a lot of trauma in their system, it can fracture their consciousness and cause them to feel lost and confused. They can also just have so much heaviness in their spirit, that they struggle to accept their own divine nature and the idea that they belong in the heavenly realms. This is one of those areas where you need a lot of love and holiness in your system to really see and help a loved-one who is struggling to make it to the healing higher realms. Don’t be afraid to enlist helpers like a strong medium or even Archangel Michael to escort your loved-one to the light.

Okay, so there is a lot to say in terms of the after-life, but I think I’ll leave it here for now.

Do check out this video where I discuss my Day of the Dead contact experience.

And I’m always game for a good ghost story! Do leave in the comments section any experiences you’ve had with spirits and the after-life. 

I’ll return soon with another mystical post, but in the meantime be well and much love to you. 


Sis Satsuma


  1. Bryan Wagner · April 24, 2020

    Thank you for sharing this. Although I have had no personal experiences I find the subject fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. spiritofthebeach · May 21, 2020

    Thank you for this post, which is on the limits of the reach of my experience. I have met my deceased mother in a Focusing exercise and it was very helpful. When I have a need to make such a connection, I will give your method a try.

    Liked by 1 person

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