The number one word to describe both the Otherworld and our spiritual lives is “energy”. All matter is actually composed of energy and our astral and spiritual bodies, along with the Otherworld, is no exception to that basic rule. Because we are pure energy once we are freed of our limited physical shell, we have no need for physical language as expressed by vocalization. Because we are energy, communication can be handled through energy, through telepathy.
We are able to interact with the Otherworld and the trained adept can even travel to the Otherworld. This can be accomplished from Near Death Experiences, but that would be a rather drastic approach to take. We can also learn how to travel to the Otherworld through meditation and trance. From these practices, we can interact with Beings in the Otherworld and even bring back some memories (limited and filtered though they are) of our experiences there.
This is not actually related to the question, but, for me, there is a connection. My father passed away May 20, 2004 in a hospice here in town. On May 19, my life partner and I were in the room with my dad while he was in and out. During that time, at various times, I was able to catch a brief and pale glimpse of ancestors waiting in the room, waiting to take my dad to the Otherworld.
Just how scary is it to communicate with the dead? Is it scary? Sometimes communicating with the dead may not be a bad thing!
Every year, around Samhain, October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere or May 1 in the Southern Hemisphere, the veil thins and we begin to feel the influences of those who've passed over. Sometimes we'll feel them during the rest of the year as well. This is the time we remember those encounters the best though, it seems. It is the time of the year that we remember that our departed loved ones can ... and often do ... maintain a link with those of us still on the physical plane. It is through this link with us that they are able to make contact with this plane.
Now, how does one establish communication with the departed, with the dead? Do we just knock on astral door to see if they are home? Do we hold séances or go to some mysterious lady camped on the edge of town to accomplish this?
Communication with the dead is a two-way street. If the dead want to communicate with us and we don't want to hear from them, we can simply ignore them. Likewise, if we desire to communicate with them and they don't want to hear from us (yes, sometimes the dead are not absorbed with the antics of the living ... they don't just hand around, hoping that we throw them some tidbit of attention), they can also ignore us and no amount of pleading and begging will make them communicate with us!
It is easier to communicate with the dead when the intended recipient of our communication is a loved one who has crossed over and if they are looking for communication and we are looking for communication at the same time. Otherwise, you may just be crossing wires but accomplishing nothing.
Now, many people will tell you that it is "evil" to attempt to communicate with the dead. Some fear to communicate because they might fear a negative afterlife. Others may fear to communicate because they fear being in the same situation or place as the dead; they are afraid of death, in other words. As is so normal in human nature, we often fear that which we can't see, touch, or understand. Another key point is that, as Americans, we are taught that ghosts and spirits are not real-we don't want to be "silly" and attempt to communicate with someone or something that just doesn't exist!
Now, communication with the dead doesn't always come in the form of voices or rappings or any audible sound. Sometimes, messages from the dead can come in the form of dreams. For others ... or in different situations ... these communications can come in the form of just knowing something or in the form of feelings. When my brother was born back in Germany in 1971, my mother recalls the scent of a particular type of flower in the delivery room at the hospital. Now, of course, there were no flowers in the delivery room, but my mother clearly and distinctly smelled flowers in the delivery room. Why would this be? That's easy; the flowers that my mother smelled just happened be the same ones that were her mother's favorite before she passed away in 1966. In other words, her mother was in the delivery room to witness the birth of her newest grandchild and to watch over her daughter!
Many people have reported stories about seeing cars that were not actually there, cars that cannot cross a railroad track, to discover later that there had been an actual wreck involving a car just like the one that they saw, but the car had been destroyed and all the passengers killed. There was a country song about a phantom truck that goes down the highway and that has been known to save the lives of tired drivers so that they are forced to pull over into a rest area, a gas station, or a diner before they fall asleep at the wheel. I think most people have been able to hear these dramatic stories, the people saved from the house fire by an indefinable warning.
I recall one "warning" that a friend of mine in Denver had received back in 1997. My friend used to have a cat named Magik. Now, Magik did not seem to like other animals coming around and would react adversely to any other animal. For some reason, however, my friend started to notice that she felt as though there were another cat in her apartment at night time when she and Magik were in her bed. Strangely enough, Magik did not react to this intrusion, almost as though Magik knew this other cat ... a cat which could never be seen and which was never around in the daytime. About two weeks after this started, a fire broke out in the apartment complex that they lived in and destroyed everything in the complex. My friend made it out, but Magik was trapped (he refused to be rescued out of fear of the heat, noise, and everything) and died in the fire. The "cat" that had been hanging around with her and Magik at night never returned. It is almost as though she and Magik had a the future ghost of Magik visiting them to let them know that Magik's time was near (which could be a possible explanation for Magik never reacting to this cat; he knew the cat because he and this cat were one and the same, bilocation (being in two places at the same time)).
Now, we can see that the dead will sometimes appear to either warn of danger or to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the living. Another purpose for some of the dead to contact us is also to ensure us that they are okay, that there is nothing to fear about their passing on.
Generally, it seems, that most communications with the dead are encounters to be feared, but, rather, are encounters which prove to be beneficial to the recipients (lives saved, for example, because of warnings). These communications can be reassuring, to know that your loved ones are not so far away. It seems that most of these communications are not negative and are not something to be feared.
Now, we know communicating with the dead is not something to be afraid of. It is not something to be apprehensive about. So, just how do we summon up good old Aunt Matilda?
The first thing that I would suggest is that you try to be OPEN to this type of communication. Try relaxation techniques; they can help you to be more receptive to communication. Meditate on the person whom you wish to communicate with. Try focusing on items that either belonged to the dead or items that have a connection to the dead person you wish to communicate with. You may wish to use an incense that can help you shift your focus from the left side of the brain (if you are right handed) to the right side of the brain (or the reverse if you are already left handed).
I do not suggest trying to force the communication or the contact. Music, while relaxing to some, may be a distraction. Also, do not expect to communicate with the dead and ask them to perform parlor tricks for you. Leave that table alone and do not ask them to levitate it for you!
Last, start paying attention to those sudden urgings from your sense of intuition. Pay attention to your dreams. It may be that the dead are already in communication with you; you just may need to learn to pay attention!