Monday, July 16, 2018

LILY DALE SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY OF FREE THINKERS

Hi Ho Hi Ho and to off Lily Dale I go. 

It's a small picturesque hamlet of spirituality and free thinkers that takes you back in time to a small, peaceful place of mind, body and spirit. It's lovely with cottages, old Victorians with wide porches, and colorful gardens in full bloom, fairy forest and group spirit communication, meditation and healing.
My first visit was in 2016 and like so many worldwide I was making a pilgrimage. I went to fulfill a dream my elder sister, Ellen, had when she discovered it and that was for us to visit Lily Dale. Unfortunately, she passed suddenly in 2010.

While there I met a friendly group of women. I sat alone listening and quietly laughing to this sometimes raucous group of friends and relatives. Then one morning Rena, the lady who sat next to me each time, both of us sipping tea, turned and notice my witch pendent. She exclaimed, "Oh! I have one also" and showed me almost the exact figure. From there on we chatted and the group invited me to join in meals. I declined as I wanted to be alone with my thoughts, although the last couple of days I joined in doing tarot readings and sharing card spreads. Parting we all said it'd be nice to come back at the same time.
Now, two years later, I return to teach. 
My first visit was during a time mother was dying, I grieved her soon to be passing as I still did my beloved sister, my spiritual companion and student.  While there through a private reading as well as chosen in group readings my troubled spirit was eased and uplifted. 
I especially loved to walk in the Fairy Forest Garden. I added some little figurines with my mother and sister's names.

Now, I return to teach a workshop on ESP/Telepathy. Ellen would be happy I'm enjoying and sharing spiritual/psychic knowledge. She continues in spirit to guide, share incredible psychic knowledge and support my mission of teaching. I wrote about some of that knowledge in my book, “How to Talk With Spirits: Seances, Mediums, Ghost Hunts.”
There, I'll meet up with a longtime friend, author and lecturer, Suzette Martinez Standring.
 Lily Dale is a true experience of peaceful being, shared psychic interests and while there, have a reading by one or more of the most gifted mediums.
Located in upstate New York (USA) Lily Dale has become the largest center of the spiritualist movement. Each year approximately 22,000 visitors come for classes, workshops, public church services of mediation and healings. 
Incorporated in 1879 it became called Lily Dale Assembly in 1906 with the purpose to further the science, philosophy, and religion of Spiritualism. It has been featured in the HBOdocumentary No One Dies in Lily Dale. Lily Dale was also featured in an episode of "Supernatural."
Some well-known spiritualist and mediums who’ve spoken and taught there: Chopra Deepak Dr. Wayne Dyer, John Edwards, Tibetan Monks, James Van Praagh, television mediums Lisa Williams and Michelle Whitedove, who also live there; , Dee Wallace, Ghost Hunters, and soon to be a teacher at Lily Dale, me!! June Ahern 
Wish me well! Review more about me www.juneahern.com

Sunday, July 8, 2018

MAY DAY CROWNING OUR LADY; SKYE IN JUNE EXCERPT

Recently, I shared on a social media page how my favorite Catholic celebration ritual was May Day in the church. The girls wore pretty dresses with wreaths of flowers on their heads. and the boys spruced up too. 

One year, my young sister was chosen by her peers to crown a large statue of Mary, Our Lady. It was a real honor and her family so proud of her. 

I loved this day so much that I wrote a whole chapter of it in my book, The Skye in June. Only, in my chapter the main character after the church festivities all hell breaks loose.

Here's an excerpt from the chapter. I hope you enjoy it. You can read more about my book on Amazon.com

Chapter 26
May Day 1960

The warm spring day of the first of May 1960 would certainly prove to be an unforgettable day for the entire family, in one way or another. The entire month of May, which is dedicated to honor Our Lady, the Blessed Mother of God, commences with a festive Mass on the first Sunday of the month. It is one of the most beautiful and joyful celebrations in Catholicism and was June’s favorite religious event. As part of the Mass, an eighth grade girl, chosen by her peers, crowns the statue of Our Lady. The honor went to Maggie. Her sisters agreed that, after all her heavy campaigning, she deserved it. 


***
The church was transformed into a heavenly garden filled abundantly with fresh, colorful spring flowers emitting sweet scents. After the congregation settled into the pews, the procession started with the Monsignor walking down the main aisle sprinkling holy water over the parishioners. Behind him came both of the parish priests in pristine white and gold vestments flanked by several altar boys. Once they were all assembled in the sanctuary, the organist heralded in the children. Boys and girls in their respective lines came through the front doors to parade around the church on opposite sides. The girls were dressed in a rainbow of pastel dresses with wreaths of garden flowers adorning their hair. The boys had their hair neatly slicked down and wore crisp white shirts and dark pants.

As the lines snaked around the pews, the children sang in harmony praises to God’s mother. “Oh, Mary, we crown you with blossoms today. Queen of the angels, Queen of May.”

When the children finally settled into the first rows of pews, the eighth-grade girl chosen to crown Our Lady would enter the church. As the organist began to play “Ave Maria,” heads craned backward to watch the chosen one walk down the aisle.

Beautiful as a spring goddess, Maggie, poised between the church’s heavy wooden doors, waited to allow time for the parishioners to view her. A murmur of appreciation spread throughout the church. In a periwinkle-blue gown, holding a wreath of delicate white roses cut from the MacDonald’s garden, she gracefully glided down the burgundy-carpeted aisle toward a life-size statue of Our Lady waiting to be crowned by the maiden. So lovely was the honored maiden that no one would have guessed that only an hour earlier she had been involved in a fight with her sister.

After the ceremony, parishioners spilled out of the church into the warming May Day, eager to get to breakfast. Jimmy emerged gripping his Kodak Brownie camera and squinting into the sunlight. He looked out into the group of people. “Do you see her?” he asked Cathy.

Cathy spied Maggie with Mother Superior and the Monsignor. The rotund priest had his arm loosely around her shoulders, leaning down into her face, smiling and talking.
Jimmy saw her at the same time. “There she is!” he said as he rushed down the church steps.
Cathy spotted Annie and Mary amongst the crowd and beckoned them over. Jimmy and the Monsignor were vigorously shaking hands when Cathy and the girls joined them.

“You must be so proud of Margaret being the chosen one to crown the Blessed Virgin. Maybe someday Margaret will become a real bride of Christ,” Monsignor gushed, his fat red cheeks shaking as he pumped Jimmy’s hand up and down. Cathy thought how Monsignor reminded her of a fat rooster crowing for praises.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mary jab Annie with her elbow and giggle. She had a good idea what Mary was communicating to her sister. She, too, was amused at the idea of her boy-crazy daughter becoming a nun.

Jimmy proudly winked at Maggie. “She’s a good girl, alright.”

An exaggerated moan escaped Mary’s lips. The group stared at her, puzzled by her utterance. Quickly, Annie said, “She’s just hungry.” The attention turned back to Maggie.

“I understand that Margaret will follow Anne to the Girls Convent High School. What a reward!” Mother Superior beamed a proud grin at the parents.

“We have no choice but to send them all to Catholic higher learning. That’s where our girls belong, right Cathy?” Jimmy said, his grin broader with each compliment.

Cathy nodded her head “yes,” giving a half smile. For weeks she had fretted over the cost of the high school’s tuition. Maggie had not won a scholarship, like Annie had.

Loud voices of children squealing and singing interrupted the conversation. They looked over to the schoolyard to see a group of young girls dancing around a basketball pole, holding the various colors of streaming ribbons attached to it. Cathy’s attention went to the bright red hair flying around the circle. Her heart sank. It has to be June, she thought. Mary mumbled, “Oh-oh.”

Monsignor inquired, hesitatingly, “Mother Superior, what’s going on over there?”

“I don’t know,” she sputtered nervously, licking her lips, uncertain if she, the Mother Superior of Holy Savior School, was guilty of some sin.

“I know what they’re doing,” a sugary sweet voice sang out.

Everyone looked at Maggie. “Sister Noel has been teaching her students about the old pagan celebration of May Day. She 
said it’s the story of Mother Earth giving birth. The pole is the Father Sun.” She hesitated, giving the group a pleasant smile. She continued in a singsong way. “The ribbons are like him showering down his love over all the young maidens. Whatever that means.” Maggie’s bright green eyes, wide with innocence, looked directly at the Monsignor.


The adults stood frozen in place.Monsignor finally gasped out, “Mother...”

“I’ll take care of it, Monsignor,” Mother Superior said, regaining her poise. With arms swinging
as though to propel her faster, she marched over to the happy, cheering children.
Cathy fumed at Maggie. I knew she had a plan up her sleeve to get June in trouble, she said to

herself.
“Bloody troublemaker,” Jimmy swore under his breath looking toward the playground, his

temper starting to brew.

With hands folded within her habit sleeves, Sister Noel stood facing the children, quietly

watching them. Although her back was to Mother Superior, she did not jump with surprise when a voice gruffly asked, “What is the meaning of this, Sister?”

The pretty young nun slowly turned to her. With eyelashes lowered, she hid her eyes. “It’s a celebration of May Day, Mother,” she answered with quiet dignity.

To be con't in The Skye in June.
Read about June Ahern's other books at www.juneahern.com