How to Connect With Loved Ones in Spirit

by James Van Praagh

If you’re a fan of Elevated Existence Magazine, chances are you‘ve felt the presence of Spirit in your life. But there are times when that feeling isn’t enough — when you wish you could reach out to a particular person on the other side and ask them a question, resolve an unsettled issue or share the details about an important event in your life. You can’t call your deceased loved one on the phone, and you don’t always have access to a medium — so what can you do?

In my workshops and online courses, I teach dozens of techniques for raising your frequency to connect with Spirit. This particular exercise is one of my favorites, and it’s resulted in some amazing, healing conversations between my students and their loved ones on the other side.

It’s called “Letter to Spirit,” and no medium or experience is required. All you need is your strong, focused intentions, a clear, open mind, and a pen and paper. Here are the steps:

Prepare Your Space
You’ll be connecting with a specific person in the Spirit realm. To make this happen, you must first embrace the idea that the Spirit people are already RIGHT HERE WITH YOU. To visualize this, spread out your arms and your fingers, and use all of your senses to feel the Spirit world, right at your fingertips. Make some space in your mind and your soul — just like you would make space in a closet to prepare a room for a welcome guest. Invite your loved one in, and allow them to blend their thoughts with yours.

Do whatever you can to bring your loved one closer – display pictures, send loving thoughts their way, and set your intention to connect with them.

Make an appointment with Spirit
Now, set a time and place, and invite the Spirit of the person you want to connect with to join you. Make it official — put the appointment in your calendar and mentally extend the invitation to your loved one. When the time comes, spend a few minutes in reflection or meditation — open your mind and invite Spirit to join you. Then take a pen and paper, and write a letter to your loved one, expressing whatever it is that you want to communicate. When you’re done, seal the letter and put the person’s name on the envelope. Put your letter somewhere that makes sense to you — on your loved one’s favorite chair or propped up against a picture of the two of you together. Now it’s time to set the second appointment!

Channeling your response from Spirit
Set up a second time to meet in the same spot. This will be the time where you let your deceased loved one merge with you and respond to your letter. Set your intention, open your mind and let Spirit enter your mind. When you feel their presence, take your pen and paper, and invite your loved one to respond to your letter. Think of yourself as a conduit, and let the words flow. Don’t think  — just write. When you’re done, take a moment to feel the love and support — or whatever emotions are flowing through you — then read what Spirit has written.

Over the next few days, you can expect to feel your loved one’s presence. Be aware of special signs. If the deceased loved technology, they might reach out by interfering with television or Wi-Fi signals or by flickering lights off and on. A nature lover might send a special bird or butterfly to signal that they are near, and an animal lover might cause your dog or cat to stare at an empty space, or behave oddly.

I encourage you to give this exercise a try! It will not only allow you to send and receive a special message, but it will open you up to the presence of the Spirit world that’s right at your fingertips.

If you’re drawn to exercises like this one, you can explore many more ways to bridge the gap between the physical and the Spirit world in my James Van Praagh Mediumship Certification course.

James Van Praagh’s Tips for Intuitive Development

To celebrate his new online school, the James Van Praagh School of Mystical Arts, bestselling author and psychic medium James Van Praagh offered a free webinar called “Playing the Psychic Game With James,” where he shared some tips and techniques to help exercise the psychic muscle and enhance one’s intuition.

He started the session with a brief meditation to bring everyone into the present moment and “get out of the head space and into the heart.” Any time someone is doing psychic work or wants to access his or her intuitive voice, the first step is to work from the heart and not the head, he said.

“If you are in your head, you will judge things and reason things, but when in the heart space you are coming from truth,” Van Praagh told the live audience watching the Google Hangout session, which included viewers form the U.S., Australia, Africa, Spain, Brazil, Russia, China and more.

Prior to the call, he chose three cards (guided by Spirit) from his newly designed deck called “The Soul’s Journey Lesson Cards: a 44-Deck and Guidebook,” specifically for the session. These were: Worry, Trust and Surrender.

“Worry is a wasted emotion. It does nothing except give you the illusion of control,” Van Praagh told the audience. “We have to realize if we put worry on something, and we fear something, it will stop the energy from flowing, and we won’t be able to hear our intuition.”

For Trust, we must accept that our inner voice will always guide us correctly, he continued. Our intuition is our soul’s language, and when we start to use it, we will see how guided we are in the life decisions and choices we must make. And Surrender is about releasing our need for control and having faith.

“You are a soul having this human experience, and as a soul you can do anything,” Van Praagh said, explaining the three cards go together — when we have a situation we often Worry, but we need to Trust and Surrender.

JVP ad 160w X 400hPsychic Exercises
During the Google Hangout, Van Praagh offered a number of opportunities for viewers to hone their intuitive muscles, including holding up a white envelope with a picture inside and asking the audience to intuit who was in the picture, what they looked like, etc., and holding a box and asking them to intuit what object was inside. But first he taught everyone how to “run energy,” to clear the chakras and drop into the heart space.

“It’s like a filtration system where we bring down cosmic light through the top of the head and bring up the earth energy through the feet. Then blend them together and send them out in front of you like a fountain. There is a circulation that happens and you filter out negativity and other people’s energies,” he said.

He offered the following suggestions to practice build one’s intuitive muscle, and encouraged the audience to try it on everything:

— When the phone rings, before looking at the caller ID, try to intuit who is calling.

— If you are going to a new restaurant, try to intuit what it will look like? What will the hostess stand look like? Will the hostess be male or female? What will the people you are going with be wearing, and what type of specials will there be?

— If you are going to a business meeting with people you have never met, intuit how many people will be there, where you will be sitting in the meeting — if it’s a conference room, where will you sit at the table? Who will sit next to you? What do they look like? What color clothes will they wear, and what will their personality be like?

— “I do this with the mail,” said Van Praagh. “If I have an invoice or bill, I try to intuit the amount.”

— Go to a shopping center and start tuning into the energy of the people there to see what you pick up about people.

In his “JVP Psychic and Intuitive Certification Level 1 Course” as part of his new online school, one of the first exercises the course offers is for students to start looking at the world around them as if they have a magnifying glass, and notice what they are feeling, he said. He also recommends sitting in the same space every day and run our energy before sitting in silence and going within our heart.

“The more you start to live your life with a sense of your intuition first, you begin to program yourself to live your life that way, and your intuition will come gangbusters right to the surface,” Van Praagh noted.

For more information on James Van Praagh’s courses, visit

Elevated Existence Editor’s New Spiritual and Self-Help Book Picks: September 2014

The editor’s at Elevated Existence Magazine picked their top books introduced in the past month for the spiritual and self-help category. Here are the six choices:

“The Evolving Soul: Spiritual Healing Through Past Life Exploration,” by Dr. Linda Backman
With more than 30 years of experience as a licensed psychotherapist, who has conducted hundreds of past life and between-lives hypnotherapy regression sessions, Dr. Linda Backman compiled all she’s learned over the years into a new book, “The Evolving Soul: Spiritual Healing Through Past Life Exploration.” She explains how we create a pre-birth blueprint for our lives, how our spirit guides and ascended masters influence our opportunities for growth, the life review process between lives, our soul purpose, the seven soul archetypes, soul rays, intuition and more. Using examples from regression clients, and offering questions at the end of every chapter to help the reader gain insight into their own lives, Backman gives readers a glimpse into the workings of the universe.

end-of-stress“The End of Stress: Four Steps to Rewire Your Brain,” by Don Joseph Goewey
Don Joseph Goewey, author of the book “Mystic Cool: A Proven Approach to Transcend Stress, Achieve Optimal Brain Function, and Maximize Your Creative Intelligence,” released his newest book, “The End of Stress: Four Steps to Rewire Your Brain.” After managing the department of psychiatry at Stanford Medical School, and heading an institute that pioneered an approach to catastrophic life events, Goewey became part of a research team, or “think tank” that took on the challenge of finding a process that would end work stress. The new book details this process, which was tested in a number of high-pressure corporate environments with positive results. While traditional stress management focuses on changing stress-related behaviors, the approach he teaches works to actually rewire the brain, and is built like a workshop over four weeks.

e-cubed “E-Cubed: Nine More Energy Experiments That Prove Manifesting Magic and Miracles Is Your Full Time Gig,” by Pam Grout
A follow-up to the New York Times bestseller “E-Squared,” which offered readers do-it-yourself experiments to prove thoughts can and do create our reality, author Pam Grout released her new book, “E-Cubed: Nine More Energy Experiments That Prove Manifesting Magic and Miracles Is Your Full Time Gig.” She sets out to show readers how blessings and miracles are a natural part of life and available to everyone. With new experiments and tips, Grout reveals how to keep the door to abundance open in all areas of our lives, and let the limitless universe provide for us.


laws-of-growth“The 15 invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential,” by John C. Maxwell
Passionate about self-development for over 50 years, John C. Maxwell breaks down everything he has learned about reaching one’s fullest potential. These include: The Law of the Mirror – You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself; The Law of Awareness – You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself; The Law of Modeling – It’s Hard to Improve When You Have No One But Yourself to Follow; The Law of Rubber Band – Growth Stops When You Lose the Tension Between Where You are and Where You Could Be; and The Law of Contribution – Developing Yourself Enables You to Develop Others.

AdventuresoftheSoul “Adventures of the Soul: Journeys Through the Physical and Spiritual Dimensions,” by James Van Praagh
Created as a manual for anyone who has ever questioned where they come from, why they are here, and where they go after they die, psychic medium James Van Praagh’s newest book, “Adventures of the Soul,” takes readers on a journey to discover the unique design of their soul and unearth adventures as it travels between worlds. It will help to understand and recognize soul lessons an individual came back to Earth to learn, including sorrow, forgiveness, grief, compassion and joy, and will help them understand their soul in a whole new way in order to fulfill their destiny and follow the path of love.

oprah-book“What I Know for Sure,” by Oprah Winfrey
Organized by them, including joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity and power, this new book is a revised and updated collection of essays shared by Oprah Winfrey in her O, The Magazine, via television and more over the years — all set in a cloth-bound book with a ribbon marker. Ideally read and digested over time, readers can pick an essay a day or even week, and reflect on the inspiration and revelations shared.

James Van Praagh on “Growing Up in Heaven”

Elevated Existence interviewed psychic medium and best-selling author, James Van Praagh, for our June 2011 cover story. In it, he talks about his newest book, “Growing Up in Heaven: The Eternal Connection Between Parent and Child,” and below is a Q&A from the interview:

Why did you decide to write a book about children in the afterlife?
I work a lot with Compassionate Friends, which is an organization of parents who lost children, and I decided I wanted to write a book for parents to deal with grief. I wrote a book called “Healing Grief,” but it wasn’t directed toward parents. I think the worst thing in life is to lose a child, no matter what kind of death or grief, the hardest one is parents who lose children because it doesn’t appear natural. The parents should go before the child.

I’ve worked with a lot of parents, and I’ve seen a lot of parents change because of the experience of mediumship and hearing from their child. I’ve also seen a lot who haven’t had the experience, and their lives are lost. I want parents to realize their children are souls, we are all souls, and many times souls who die as children are very evolved. I also want them to understand that they both chose the experience [before coming into this life] for the soul to pass over as a child this time around – and we don’t always know the reason why. Maybe the parents had to learn about letting go, compassion or forgiveness … the reasons are all so varied and different, but they are always planned out – nothing ever happens spontaneously. I don’t believe that … there is a higher perspective, and I just wanted to share that with them.

You say “no child dies before its time” – what do you mean by that?
I think every soul has a time to be born and a time to die, and there are soul agreements between various soul families for each person’s spiritual evolution. Also, I believe before we come back [to the physical world] we make a decision, such as ‘this soul only needs 5 years or this soul only needs 10 years’ … it’s about how much experience that soul needs. It’s like school – how many classes do you need to graduate. Some need the whole university and some just need grade school. So sometimes we just need certain experiences and then we move on. That has a lot to do with it – it’s about the experience that they need and that the soul group needs.

For parents who have lost a child, what do you find most children do on “the other side?”
When they come through a medium, they have to take on the human personality they just had because that is how the parents look at them.  Parents expect to hear what they are doing over there from a physical level, and so many times they talk about finishing school. Often, they will go on to master things for their innate soul gifts, whether its art, music, dance, sculpture, science, mathematics or architecture. It’s something within their soul being, and they develop that even further over there …

They can also help their family members left on the earth. Sometimes they become their guides. One story in the book tells about this couple from Arizona who lost their baby girl. She came through [in a reading] and talked about how she was going to help them. ‘I’m going to bring you a gift in April, and it’s going to be this big gift,’ she said, and she showed me this big box. I said, ‘I don’t know what it means,’ and the mother said she
didn’t know because it wasn’t anyone’s birthday in April. Sure enough, they called me in May, and they found out they were pregnant in April.

For more on “Growing Up in Heaven,” and to hear about Van Praagh’s personal journey as a medium, as well as other insights he has gained through the practice of mediumship in the last 30 years, check out our June 2011 issue of Elevated Existence Magazine!