The Lilydale experience—a spiritualist community

Lilydale is a small town just past the Pennsylvania border. It’s a spiritualist community celebrating its 125-year anniversary. To live there, you must be a registered medium or belong to the spiritualist church. Some of the most gifted and loving individuals reside there.

They believe in God, much like the Native Americans; they believe God is expressed through all nature. Spiritualist principles are as follows: True religion is living in the obedience of nature laws. The soul lives on. The spiritualism provides an opportunity to communicate with the spirit world. Be kind and good, and others will do likewise. You are responsible for your own happiness and actions, and prophecy and healing are expressions of God.

Some fascinating and positive points

Jennifer Weigel (a well-known journalist and broadcaster) could not keep this town a secret, and decided to produce a documentary on Lilydale. She asked me to be enveloped in the film because she wanted a psychic’s view to be part of her format. I have been an adviser for her over the last 10 years and have enjoyed watching her grow and develop to the emotional and professional magnitude she has today. She is by far one of the most successful people I know. I was thrilled to be involved in a film about a mystical environment where unexplainable events take place; events that heal the mind, body and spirit of everyone who passes through the iron-wrought gates marked “Lilydale: the City of Light.”

My son Jordan (a camera man for Channel 13) was fortunate enough to be hired on as a photographer, second in command to one of the most gifted filmmakers, Linton Suttner. He was looking forward to working with someone with his knowledge and ability.

A week before we were scheduled to leave, mystical experiences began to happen. I have always been blessed to receive my personal messages through animals. Information that is important to me comes from this source. These messages are always true because I believe animals are angels, and they have no ego.

I was in my yard and noticed two large birds flying toward me in the sky from the east. As they passed over my head, I realized they were swans. Swans are the mystical guardian angels of transformation. Swans are also the Lilydale mascot. My son and I were about to be transformed by this experience.

We arrived early Saturday morning. Jordan resided at the Maplewood Hotel, and I stayed at the Lakeview Guest House, owned and operated by Jessie Furst, an extremely gifted spiritual medium.

We were scheduled to observe James VanPraagh’s lecture. James is a gifted medium who relays messages from the dead to the loved ones of the living. I must say that his television show does not do him justice. This man’s sincere and loving energy radiated through the entire auditorium. If he ever chose not to do his life work anymore, he could go straight to the top and become one of the finest comedians ever. His ability to touch the hearts of those who witnessed him was astounding. I felt honored to exchange energy with him.

James does his job well and does not let his ego get in the way of his work. Like animal energy, when ego is removed, the truth comes through.

A woman about five feet away from me was receiving a message from her husband. At the end of her message, he asked her about “Edward,” and he repeated himself. “Edward, Edward…a Dr. Edward…”

At this point I knew this message was meant for me. Last December, Lyle McKinney and I were present when his father, Dr. Edward McKinney, passed away. I was touched very deeply by that initiation in life. Well, Edward’s message is “thank you.” Although the woman standing near me did not understand, I knew whom he was talking to.

Sunday morning we met with Jennifer and Linton to begin shooting another segment of the film. As we were having coffee and discussing our experiences, a mink ran up onto the porch and began running around between our legs. I told Jennifer that mink represent prosperity, love and affection seasoned with humor. That meant that her project would be blessed. She was just praying that it wouldn’t crawl up her pant leg. I told her that this was definitely a sign from spirit.

The healing temple

I decided on Sunday to visit the healing temple. I had received a horse riding-related injury in May, and I was still in the healing process while I was in Lilydale. I arrived with no expectations but with full understanding of how this process works. The healing medium channels the pureist form of energy and directs it to your wound. Even emotional wounds can be healed with this type of work. I have experienced this before, and I recommend Meg Larkin (985-3617) if you would like to give it a try.

I noticed a lot of children with name tags on anywhere from 7 to 13 years of age. The minister explained that they had a healing workshop for children that morning, and the children were going to practice the skills they had acquired. I noticed two children that I felt a connection with: a beautiful female with long, thick curly hair and a young man named Bailey. When I sat down, the child with the mentor did energy work on my physical body. Her hands sent out a tremendous amount of heat, and her spirit was pure. The pain in my back began to lift.

I went to Bailey next. His healing energy was intense. Both children were able to step outside of themselves and allow the healing energy to come through. They were too young and too connected to God to have ego get in the way of their life’s work. I hope they are able to maintain that purity as adults.

The stump

The mediums donate their time and energy giving free messages at “the stump.” The energy from this large tree stump is so intense, you can’t touch it. Jordan, Linton, Jennifer and I went to listen to the messages. One of the mediums pointed in our direction and said she saw a man and a woman together who were not related. The man was affiliated with train tracks or the railroad, and the woman had just recently passed of cancer within the last week. Jordan and I acknowledged her. My father John had been killed in a car accident and had a basement full of antique O-gauge trains. This was his passion. Sue Guzzardo, Jordan’s grandmother, had passed a week earlier after a long battle with cancer. We were deeply touched by the messages we received. I do this work for others six days a week; you have no idea how refreshing it is to have a gifted individual give me a loving message. It was very emotional for us.

My favorite medium was Jessie Furst. I loved to watch her work, and she was very accurate. Like James VanPraagh, her ego never got in the way of her work. I recommend the Lake View guest house if you choose to visit Lilydale. She is the owner, and the environment is positive.

When the ego gets in the way

I found out rather quickly the energies to avoid in Lilydale. Like any other town, there are always certain individuals who are unhappy with themselves. Insecurity creates competitiveness, gossip, rumors and negativity. The porch of the Maplewood Hotel appeared to be the breeding ground for that. I was disappointed to find the spiritual community had its share of negativity. Mediums bashing mediums, pounding their chest and validating their authority through how much press coverage they got. Jealous of another’s success instead of being happy for them. I’m surprised that place hasn’t self-combusted. It must be the loving mediums that keep that place protected and intact. I can tell you this: when you arrive with a camera crew, it brings out the worst in some people. There is no room for ego in this line of work. I learned a long time ago that this gift is not mine to claim, and that there is something greater than me responsible for helping my clients find their way. I am only a messenger.

I avoided that place entirely. Jordan had to stay at the hotel and implied that it was creepy and reminded him of The Shining. I told him that it had more to do with the living energy than the dead, and until he saw a small boy on a big wheel in the hallway, he shouldn’t worry.

Sunday evening, Jordan and I enjo

yed the company of Jessie Furst on the porch of the Lakeview Guest House. We swapped animal stories and talked about everything under the sun. I never once heard her speak ill of any of the other mediums or boast about her national television appearances. She didn’t need to validate herself, she knows she’s for real.

She told me my son was a healer, and I acknowledged the compliment and told her I would pass it along to him. I went for a walk at 1 a.m.—it’s safe to walk around Lilydale alone. I received another message, this time from a baby skunk. She approached me like a kitten and I squatted down and spoke to her. (At this point, I was beginning to feel like Snow White). Skunk medicine tells us that we present ourselves well, and our reputation is honored and valuable. If you’re even sprayed by one, you better be careful about how you’re presenting yourself to the world and how others are treating others.

Considering the fact that she looked me in the eye sweetly without spraying me, and then kind of leaped and wobbled away, I knew her message was a positive one. On a lighter note, skunks also represent sensuality (I didn’t like being reminded that I was beginning to miss my boyfriend).

The energy began to shift and change. Monday, Jordan and I were going to leave, and I knew it would be a while before I could return to the city of light. To Jordan and me, this was a valuable adventure. When Jennifer interviewed Jordan on Monday, he spoke straight from the heart. When he was growing up, there were times when it was difficult to have a mother in the medium business. We weren’t “normal.” In high school, there was a boy who was not allowed to visit our home because we did “the devil’s work.” Ignorance is not always bliss. For Jordan to have the opportunity to work on a project filming a town where everyone was like us was a blessing. He realized that he was gifted and that he and his brother Austin did not need to be “normal.” You miss out on too much otherwise.

‘What have you learned, Dorothy?’

For me, the experience of Lilydale was exactly what I thought, only better. The universe provided me with many messages from the animals. My final message was on Monday from a squirrel who sat next to me on a park bench and used his paw to touch my leg. His message was to give to the community, and the community will give back to you. Subsequently, I am planning on starting a free bereavement workshop in the fall; an ongoing series that will help loved ones overcome their losses. There is nothing so painful as feeling the loss of a loved one.

When I arrived home, I had an appointment with my physician regarding my back injury. Dr. Soriano (another gifted healer) was amazed at my progress and said I was healing beautifully. I will compliment my vitamins on that partially, but is it possible that the children had something to do with my remarkable progression? Why not? I choose to believe their energy helped me recover as well.

The dog and pony show

Is everyone involved in spiritualism able to display unusual talents? Unfortunately no, not every spiritualist is able to channel the truth. Pick your medium wisely; referrals are the best source of reliability. Evaluate their ego; if a medium is spending 25 minutes of your time carrying on about how they have been on TV or the radio, this does not necessarily lend them any credibility. Readings should never be sold to you. In fact, any medium who feels the need to go on and on about how great they are has a problem with ego, and your message will not be accurate.

Never judge a book by its cover; don’t assume a medium should have a certain body type or hairstyle. We can’t forget the gypsy scarf and hoop earrings. This image just does not apply in this day and age.

A medium that badmouths their competition is another element to avoid. I had a client recently tell me that a local woman in my profession told her she was “better” than John Edwards (a nationally renowned psychic medium who has his own television show). I found this to be quite amusing and sad. It was obvious that her ego would restrict her from receiving the truth. Test your medium; ask them if they are aware of others in their field. If they start to badmouth, don’t make an appointment.

Just because someone claims to be a medium or a psychic does not make it true. Would you let an auto mechanic perform heart surgery on you, or a heart surgeon to fix your car?

Pay close attention to messages you receive from our animal friends. A hawk on the telephone line means good news is coming soon. Watch the world around you; the universe is always there to give you an answer. Go with your gut. The answer always lies within your heart.

For more information on Lilydale, go to For more information on messages from animals and what they mean, try Animals Speak by Ted Andrews or The Medicine by Samuel Carson.

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