The amazing thing with dying is that it really is about setting sail into the great unknown.
I can say this because, over the last twentyish years, I’ve tracked and handheld perhaps forty souls through the transition, and what has been striking has been the sheer variety of different kinds of experience people seem to have. And, for myself, the closer I come to dying, the more I’m needing to loosen up my preconceptions.
And my conditions – which are futile, because they’re all about clinging on to the known, and it’s loss of control that is the key issue here. It’s a challenge to go with the flow, to let be, have done with it, to trust and feel your way forward. Suddenly the perspective you harboured about life can change and reveal things very differently. You have to make a real deal with God. Or however you see it.
It’s not binary. We aren’t either alive or dead. We’re all a mixture of both. Medical ideology has it that death means ‘clinical death’, when your life-signs hit zero, but no, this is but a stage of dying. You’re still alive afterwards, and you might be able to see and hear people for a while, but unless their psyches are receptive, they won’t see or hear you – and that can be problematic.
But we’re all part-dead. This is a useful way of looking at it. I’m more dead than most readers, though there might be one or two who are more dead than me (hello!). Last February I think I went up to 95%, very close, but I was reviving by spring equinox, down to perhaps 80%, and now I’d put myself at 70%. But only last week I had a lurch and drooped for two days. This happens with cancer – you go up and down a lot. Small things can have big effects.
I had a near-death experience at age 24 – I was unconscious for nine days – and that permanently changed me. I was very different before and after, going through substantial memory-loss. It made me mission-driven, uncompromising on certain basic issues, though it took about seven years after the NDE to ‘come back’ enough to be fully functional. Two years after that I started the camps movement and the mission began.
Fascinatingly, my near miss in February this year shook, fried, drowned and wrung me out, and by April, to my surprise I was served some new instructions. I went from the slough of despond to a new vision – amongst other things to do my ‘far beyond’ tour upcountry. There’s something here about sinking into the deep dark, then reviving with a new impulse. Shaky as I am, I’ve been given something new, even though time is not on my side. But this is a motivator, to do it while I can and enjoy it.
It might be a goodbye tour and swansong, or the beginning of something. I cannot tell. I have osteonecrosis (a dying jawbone), peripheral neuropathy (feelingless feet), a deteriorating back, my stomach is in permanent trouble, I have a low-level permanent ache, I’m now super-sensitive to all kinds of radiation and, even with my thin body, gravity weighs heavily. Oh, and I have a cancer of the blood and bones called Myeloma. In case you needed to know, those are all my moans! Life is bloody hard, and sometimes it gets me down, and this last six months I’ve had a bit too much of it. I nearly buckled.
So can you understand that, if this gets much worse, it could be a relief for me to go? Can you see how this might be a positive thing?
When I’ve gone, please don’t get into this ‘sorry for your loss’ thing with each other. Why be sorry when I’m being given pure relief? And yes, a gap will be left by my absence, but another kind of presence is possible which, in the end, might be really valuable. After all, time and geography keep us separate anyway, here on Earth. There comes a point where people have done enough for this lifetime – even when, sometimes, their lives are quite short. We need to be released. But we haven’t gone away.
I had a good friend, Mike, who died a seemingly sad death on booze, drugs and despair. Always uncomfortable in this world, he was a spirited man, a solid part of our team in the 1980s. When I heard of his death, I tracked him over and he was in the ‘holding bay’ – a buffer and between zone you usually go to initially, to process the life you’ve just left and make yourself ready to go further. In terms of Earth time, this often takes weeks, though it varies. The funeral (in the West, some time after death) can be a key moment. But not always.
Well, in the holding bay, Mike was tripped out of his skull and having a great time, really happy, flowering, almost Buddha-like. This was a surprise, but that’s what you get in this game. I returned a day or two later and he was completely gone, even before his funeral. I felt happy for him. He had had no resistance to passing over once he got to his death – if anything, perhaps he was in a bit of a hurry. Just goes to show, the judgements made of our behaviours and lives here on Earth don’t necessarily match who and how we actually, truly are, deep down. But this was also characteristic of Mike. The manner of people’s deaths always seem to be true to character.
My mother couldn’t really handle death, even at 92. She had that confusion many people have – a weird mixture of Christian heaven-and-hell stuff and secular it-all-goes-blank stuff. Both are fictitious and unrealistic. She died and went straight to sleep, curled up and unresponsive. This felt kinda okay, because of what she’d been through, and because of that contradiction, though after a while I got a sense she wasn’t facing the fact of being dead. Her funeral was approaching and, since she was locally a popular figure, I wondered what to do. I wanted her to witness poeple’s love and regard for her. On the day of the funeral I tried waking her up but she wouldn’t surface. I made a prayer, feeling a bit clueless.
Then came a solution. Her little terrier Pepper, who had died some years earlier, came along, yapping at her, waking her up, and she was able to witness her funeral. Bless her, she hadn’t really appreciated the contribution she had made. She and I hadn’t reconciled by the time she died, but the changes she went through after death allowed her to encompass what her strange second son had been. What’s interesting here is that, right now, I’m going through a lot of early-life patterns of vulnerability, unsupportedness and loss – mother stuff – while now being completely at peace with my Mum.
It might surprise you that, across the world, one faith that is in relative decline is secularism. [This might interest you, about faiths and secularism]. Most other faiths have some form of afterlife – somewhere to go to when you pass over – so dying can be different for them than for modern seculars, who have nowhere to go. Seculars think this is ‘just’ belief or superstition, but when they die they discover something else is happening, and of course different souls react differently to this.
My cousin’s husband Al was a bit like that, a good-hearted man though solidly secular. Then he got cancer and he started changing. By the time he died, he was ready, and he saw the world of spirit. He was far away and in a state of grace. At one point his eyes opened, he saw me, and he gave me the thought, “You’re here!” After a pause he thought, “But you were there“. “Yes“, I thought back. I could sense him trying to figure that out. Al had a good death – my cousin Faith really did well by him – and I sorted out his connection with the destination, making sure there was someone there to meet him, and going over to give him a couple of tweaks from the other side. It worked. Since his death we have nodded and smiled to each other, and he helped me solve some issues with exorcisms I was doing on two occasions, from the other side.
Sometimes I’ve been able to say who will be there waiting. It melts the last doubts and resistances. When I told my Dad that his brother Laurie, who had died in WW2, would be there, he went very quiet and a tear came to his eye, and from that moment I knew he was more ready to go. He felt safe. His bro would be there.
On the day before he died, he was unconscious and I held his hand and told him all that I knew about what would happen and what to do. I knew he heard it and took it in. After his death we were having a chat and he thought to me, “You’ve done your duty to your father, and you became my father“.
My parents did their level best but, in their lives, they could never encompass me – their strange boy who, as he grew up, became a hippy revolutionary and a total disappointment and embarrassment. The only sins I failed to commit were running off with a black woman and being gay (I became a ‘womaniser’ instead). Poor them, they got the lot.
They must look at me now and think, “OMG, is he still at it, still getting himself into trouble, even at his age?“. But I think they now understand more about why I’m like that. When my Mum used to say she knew me better than I knew myself, she was incorrect, but now it might actually be true, from where she now stands.
What happens in death has a lot to do with how we deal with life. If we are willing to own up in life, as much as we can, the matter of owning up in death gets easier. Life on Earth is such a fucked-up and complex thing that we’re all damaged and up to our eyeballs in karmic cobwebs, so this isn’t about being perfect – it’s about getting through. Leaving the world a slightly better place than when we started. At death you just can’t do anything more about anything. It all was as it was, and that’s that. The task is to accept that as much as possible and come to peace about it, to hand in your resignation wholeheartedly. This involves releasing and forgiving, letting be. It’s too late. Working on this before dying does help.
But there’s more to this. The more we are able to get through our life-crises and make them good, the more we establish a pattern of doing it. When death comes, it makes dying easier because the ‘growth choice’ is a habit, and we habitually do it even in death. The looser, more centred and psychospiritually flexible we are in handling life, the more we handle death. Though also, as I mentioned in a recent blog, we also get taken a level deeper, with new hoops to jump through. But look at this another way…
When you die you are entering a new world, and the way you get born into it, as is the case with incarnate life, greatly affects what happens afterwards. That is, as a (retired) astrologer, I can tell you revealing things about yourself on the basis of the time, date and place of your planetary birth, even without meeting you. So, when you sally forth to the other world, if you die well and do your best with it, you’ll start well on the next bit. This is important. It affects the decisions that are made about what you’ll take on next – your next incarnate life on Earth, if that is your path, or whatever happens instead, if that is your path.
But remember, you don’t get chocolate up there – if you want chocolate, Earth is the place. It’s a pretty good place for abuse, pain, violence, toxicity and insensitivity too. Get a load of that – it’s special, and it really rubs you up and grinds you down.
Your family, tribe and angels up there will help you get all this sorted out. It’s rather a process, and it involves referencing to all of your existences and their overall storyline and purpose. And your place in the tribe and its own wider evolution – we’re not just individuals but part of something much larger. There’s some bliss, relief, love, healing, rest, fellowship, education and soul-melding to be had too.
Unless perhaps you believe so strongly that you don’t deserve them that you wall yourself into an imaginal reality that carries you off somewhere else. Then you get another round of the same old thing, until you get it – a turning in the deepest seat of consciousness.
Part of our reason for being here is to evolve and train ourselves as supertrooper souls – souls who’ve been through the mill, shed some blood, sweat and tears and learned from it – experiences that just aren’t available elsewhere, in this way. Loads of shit flies here, and we have the profound option to become greater souls through handling it.
This is some of the stuff we’ll be covering in my forthcoming ‘magic circles’ in August and September. Standing where I am right now, not too far from popping clogs, I can share some clues.
You see, there’s something many ancient peoples knew: the souls of the living and the souls of the dead walk alongside each other and help each other out. We’re in the same tribes and networks. We’re all still here. You can talk to your Mum (well, not anytime, but sometimes). They knock on our heads every now and then. It’s important to take note, to listen within and to answer.
I’m wondering whether it might be possible to set something up here. After I’ve gone, if any of you feel me twiggling the top of your head, please acknowledge and signal back. With one or two people I’d like to see whether it’s possible to drop information and impressions into you, and for you to get it down somehow, in whatever format works for you. See if we can do something with it. I’ll request permission first. If I know you well, I shall tell you something only you and I can know, to confirm the connection.
But it depends on whether anyone picks me up sufficiently, giving it full credence, and whether it is in their growth to do so, at that time (it might be hard work). From my end, I think I can do this, though I’m not absolutely sure – we shall see. It’s not uncommon for anyone with a dash of intuition and receptivity to pick up on the dead – go on, own up, you’ve had it lots, actually. So if you get a buzz from me, please work on the basis that I am actually there.
Also, for prospective parents, get this: you can talk to your future child. Back in the 1990s, my then partner Sheila and I called in a soul. We made a deal. We talked with Upstairs about our characteristics, what we could offer and what we needed, and we asked for a soul who would benefit from that kind of deal and find it helpful, so that we would work well together. It did work. He’s now in his mid-twenties, and what’s fascinating here is that there has been a consistent thread between the impressions we got of him before birth and the person he has become. I think Sheila would agree.
In life, it’s not primarily what we do that matters – it’s how we do it. And how much we make it good in the end. As an astrologer, there’s one prediction I can safely make: you, ladies and gentlemen, are all going to die. The choice lies in how we do it, in that moment of peaceful intensity. That is the full-on exercising of free will.
Bless you. Whatever your faults, you’re a fine person. Don’t you forget it. I’ll try not to either.
With love, Palden