Spiritual circle

Before moving to Ireland, I had no clue just how popular and ubiquitous spirituality and metaphysical studies are here. Having begun a spiritual journey of everything from astrology, crystals, reiki, and so forth when I was back in Texas, I was hopeful that I would at least find perhaps a few people with similar interests.

Cork City boasts a lovely little metaphysical shop called Dervish. After a few shopping trips, I built up the courage to chat with the friendly woman behind the counter. I asked if she knew of any spiritual development groups and she immediately showed me the weekly schedule. Apparently, there were classes hosted every evening, everything from spirituality for beginners, intro to Shamanism, and a psychic and mediumship development circle. Intrigued, I signed up for the psychic circle classes hosted every Wednesday evening. Not really knowing what to expect I was just excited by the prospect of being around psychics and intuitives.

Probably the most common misconception of psychic circles. No, we do not perform seances! We are only working in the light. 

I’ve been attending this weekly class for over one month now, and I am delighted to report that it has opened the door to so many wonderful gifts and opportunities. The class is hosted by renowned Kinsale-based psychic medium Norah Desmond. Each week, approximately eight of us ( a mixture of men and women) meet at the top floor of the Dervish shop and practice honing in on our intuitive abilities. Norah, being the skilled and talented teacher that she is, guides us into strengthening all “our clairs”:

Clairvoyance: clear seeing

This is the most common way psychics, and intuitives retrieve their information. Typically, images are “seen” through the third eye/mind’s eye. This process is very similar to a daydream. When connecting to the spirit world, one may see visions about the past, present, or future. Some visions may come across very strongly and vividly while one may only see glimpses or flashes of a visual. Through active practice and working to develop one’s clairvoyance, the visions will become stronger. Personally, since attending the psychic development classes, I’ve noticed a tremendous increase in lucid dreaming. Maybe there’s something to be said about tapping into one’s third eye.

Clairaudience: clear hearing

Ever hear that voice in your head? Sometimes, it’ll say something to the effect of “turn right!” while you’re driving down the road. You can’t explain why you heard it, but the sound plays in your head. This is an intuitive skill known as clairaudience. One may hear voices, various sounds, or music. Sound is a great tool that spirit uses to communicate to us.

Clairsentience: clear feeling

Ever experience a strong “gut feeling” that overwhelms you? For instance, you might be walking along a dark, empty street at night and feel unsafe, fearful, or worried. Similarly, you might walk past a stranger and for no clear reason, they give off a bad vibe and give you the creeps! This is your intuition’s way of communicating with you to keep you out of harm’s way. In a psychic sense, developing one’s clairsentience means being able to connect to the feelings experienced by spirit. When in the presence of a spirit or energy from behind the veil, the sensations are unmistakable. Being aware of the feelings which arise within you which will improve your psychic abilities.

Clairalience: clear smelling

Gifted mediums and intuitives can utilize all their senses when connecting with spirit. This holds true for the sense of smell. For example, smelling the scent of tobacco smoke may indicate that a spirit is present which enjoyed smoking a tobacco pipe while he was alive on earth. Pungent smells, either a particular perfume or flowers, indicate an unmistakable connection to particular spirits which are trying to come forward. As the saying goes, “the nose knows!” Clairalience is a skill I would love to strengthen.

Clairgustance: clear tasting

Ever daydream about eating something you’re craving, say a cheeseburger with fries, and you can almost taste it in your mouth? This experience can also occur on a psychic level when spirit tries to communicate with us. Often, a particular taste is associated with a memory which has a powerful meaning. Recently, I had a psychic medium connect with my grandmother, and she said she had an overwhelming taste of mint and herbs in her mouth. Oddly enough, my grandmother was a big-time fan of Ricola herb candies, or as she called them, “bom boms.”

Claircognizance: clear knowing

This occurs when you suddenly know people or events in which you normally would not have knowledge about. Spirit comes through to us and leaves us with a premonition about a future event which requires faith to trust this message. Claircognizance gives us knowing which is often inexplicable and is up to us to heed the message or not.

Before beginning the mediumship development exercises, each class starts off with a deep meditation to open our chakras and connect with spirit and Source energy. This is one of my favorite times of the week because it allows me to truly escape and encourages a stronger connection to my spirit within. I have also utilized the meditation techniques learned in class to my daily life. I now try to find at least ten minutes a day to silently retreat and meditated.

Besides learning great psychic exercises, I’ve met so many wonderful like-minded people. It is so nice to spend time with kindred spirits. I have learned that my interests in spiritual development are shared by others, which is awesome! Furthermore, I was asked to be the chairperson for the Centre of Spirit’s monthly Divine Service which is held at the Metropole Hotel. Last week I hosted my first event, and it was a lovely occasion. I met so many talented and inspiring people and enjoyed in-depth and stimulating discussions. I am very much looking forward to next month’s service.

If the psychic development circle has taught me anything, it is that there is always something new to discover. We are students in this life, and we never stop growing and learning.



It’s funny how synchronicity works. Whenever you really need something in your life, the Universe seems to deliver it at the most opportune moment.

This morning, I woke up in a bit of a sour mood. Despite today being my birthday, a day I usually would be excited for and wake up with a bit of zest and joy, I felt depleted, low, and empty.

I can’t believe I’m 29. I haven’t accomplished anything. 

The negative voice in my mind was louder than ever. The self-doubt, black hole of lacking self-confidence manifested into a mopey, whiny birthday girl. I could’ve stayed in bed all day, lamenting on how awful my life had become.

What have I accomplished in my 20’s? I’m not engaged, not married, haven’t had any kids yet. I don’t even have a decent job. What is wrong with me? Seriously, what the hell?

The gross, toxic self-talk blared in my head. Not the best way to start a new day, especially on one’s birthday! I had to actively work on shifting my thoughts in order to lift my mood and increase my energy.

Is my life really that awful? The short answer: hell no! Following a pep talk from my beloved boyfriend (my amazing motivator and biggest fan) and listening to a motivational speech on YouTube (seriously, these always change my perspective and bring me back into focus), I am finally able to move on with my day and stop belittling myself and the decisions I made in the past.

That’s the thing: the past has a way of coming back to haunt me. Not like I had an awful life or troubled past or anything, but an overactive mind has the tendency to focus on the not-so-relevant things. I’ve been told that I think too often about the things I cannot change. The past seems to be a comfortable destination for my thoughts to settle, and it’s becoming a tremendous mental roadblock. The proverbial “What if….” plays out in my cognition, tainting my present sense of self and crumpling my confidence. However, when I’m in the negative place of self-ridicule I don’t think in such rational terms.

Learning to live in the present and deal with the situation in the “here and now” is a practice I (and I’m sure many people) must work on constantly. My mood fluctuates throughout the day, one moment of fleeting accomplishment and joy from completing a task or doing something worthwhile and fulfilling is followed by horrible feelings of criticism and worthlessness.

Here’s where the Universe gave me a swift kick in my butt, awakening me to a spiritual practice I have abandoned some time ago. While doing research for a freelance article, I came across a page which sparked my attention. The article entitled, Gratitude list- the help you need on bad days leaped off the screen. I knew it was time to get my feelings into check and start feeling better about myself. I mean, it’s my freakin’ birthday for crying out loud!

Several years ago, following the success of the ever-popular The Secret book series, I read Rhonda Byrne’s The MagicBeing an energetic, ambitious young woman in her early-twenties, I eagerly completed the tasks outlined in the book. Essentially, the book asks you to keep a daily log or journal of at least ten things you are grateful for. I carried my “gratitude journal” around with me everywhere and religiously wrote in it every morning during breakfast. It became my routine. I was actively engaged in counting my blessings. And, as cliché as it may sound, beginning to take stock of all the things I was grateful for enhanced my life in unbelievable ways. I became self-reflective in a more positive way. The more I contemplated on the good on my life, the less space and time I had to think of the negative. I began to believe in myself more as I noticed all the good things in my life. As the old adage goes, “like attracts like.” As I was thinking about and writing down the things I was grateful for I began receive and experience more blessings.

Waking up this morning in such a low mood was a scary indication that I must start NOW on actively making changes to better my life, or at least my perception of it. Today marks the beginning of my journey with gratitude. Each day I will write down at least ten things I am grateful for.

#1: My family

Though there are only four of us, my immediate family is very close. Given that we all now live in different countries and are separated by many miles and time zones, I know I can always count on my parents and my brother. I am thankful for their unconditional love, the fun times we share together, and the unparalleled respect and support we all have for one another. I sometimes hear horror stories about broken families or rifts between family members and it is heartbreaking. I couldn’t ask for better parents or brother. My family consists of wonderful, talented, kind, and loyal people. I am forever grateful for them.

#2: My BFF

I’ve known Paulo since we were silly, naive, Freshman in a Math 101 class my first week in University. We have watched each other grow throughout the past decade, and I couldn’t be more happy to have a friend as funny, witty, loyal as Paulo. His sense of humor, his empathy for others (though he claims he’s not sensitive), and his ability to bring light to everyone he meets makes me proud and happy to call him my friend.

#3: My beloved 

I am truly thankful for my amazing boyfriend and companion, Denis. His strong values and unshakeable sense of self motivate me to pursue my goals. We complement each other and make a great team. His vision for the future help keep my mind on track, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for us.

#4: My home

A negative mindset can truly cloud one’s mind, making the good things less visible. As I begin to focus on the good things, I’m realizing what is around me. I live in a beautiful place with stunning nature, lovely views, and incredible scenery. I took the above photo while going on a stroll through my city. While not every day promises sunshine, I am grateful to have scenery like this surrounding me. I am grateful to live in a green country that is safe, serene, and quiet.

#5: Travels

When I reflect on all the amazing places I’ve visited I’m in awe that I even have to remind myself on how awesome my life truly is. I am grateful for all the incredible travel opportunities I’ve had throughout my life. Having visited more than fifteen countries, I realize that I am beyond lucky to have seen and experienced so much of the world.

#6: Gardening

Though still a novice, I have taken up gardening as a hobby. Summoning the green thumb powers hasn’t been the easiest while navigating weeks of rain, cold temperatures, and pesky magpies rummaging through the garden. I have found joy in connecting with nature and watching seeds blossom into vibrant plants.

#7: Humor

It’s incredible how something as simple as a meme can bring laughter and joy into one’s life. I am grateful for the moments in life where I can genuinely laugh. Seriously, this Judge Judy meme always make me smile.

#8: Sports & socializing 

I’m forever grateful for the fun, joy and laughter from my volleyball team. A wild group of international students from all across the globe make for one amazingly talented and fun-loving community.

#9: Animals

Animals bring joy into our lives because they are always living in the present moment. They remind us to live, think, breathe in the present, rather than waste precious time and brain cells running through past events (which leave us depressed) or anticipating the future (which causes anxiety). The little monkey in the picture is Pierre, and he’s been in my life for nearly ten years. I am eternally grateful for his loyal companionship, his laid-back personality, and his comfy cuddles (despite his stinky cat breath when he yawns in my face).

#10: Being alive & healthy

Although I may struggle with pessimistic thoughts from time to time, I must say I am grateful to be able to experience life (with its good and bad) in a physically healthy body. My health has kept me alive for 29 years. My strong body has allowed me to travel, play sports, walk, run, roam, and experience life. I am grateful for my able body.


After completing my first gratitude list, I must say I feel empowered and rejuvenated. It feels almost cathartic to pull forward my happy thoughts and replace the negative ones. Gratitude isn’t a one-time thing, and I am encouraged to call upon my blessings and gifts whenever I sense the toxic thoughts creeping back.

Here’s to a new and fabulous year!





Acid house

Whatever label you’d like to place on the British musician known as Bonobo won’t capture the full essence of his music. His music comes across more like a work of art, highlighting a uniquely creative blend of tonality and sounds. Each album showcases an exceptional harmony of drum beats and ambient tones that all resonate deep within the soul. I love it when music has that effect.

I prefer listening to Bonobo while I’m working, studying, and writing. I feel more focused and centered as there usually aren’t lyrical songs to get distracted by and sing along to. Ideally, Bonobo would be the perfect soundtrack for a leisurely poolside day, a train ride through gorgeous scenery, or cooking a lovely dinner. The music is relaxing, sophisticated, spiritual and adds a sense of elevated refinement.

Give these albums a listen:

Animal Magic


The North Borders

Black Sands



Similar artists:

Thievery Corporation


Nightmares on Wax


Zero 7





While never being much of a “math person,” it’s difficult not to overlook the profound connection numbers have in the Universe. It can be said with confidence that “everything in the Universe is made of math.” Mathematical formulas exist everywhere! From nature, to outer space, to your name, to your birthdate, numerical significance exists. The Psychic Teachers recently covered this topic in one of their #tbt episodes.

As I’m not a quantum physicist or “mathlete” by any means, I will not go too in-depth with mathematical formulas in correlation to birth dates and alphabetical appropriation. There are plenty of resources (and videos!) which provide a step-by-step guide to calculating the numerical significance attributed to your current life path.

Numerology calculator: This free, easy-to-use web page allows you to enter your birthdate and receive an instant calculation of your life path number.

Birthday/Karmic calculator: This website provides a more detailed analysis of your Karmic life path number.

Indian name numerology calculator: This site allows you to type in your full name and then provides you an in-depth analysis on your Vedic name number.

Also, Felicia Bender’s website is another great resource into the exciting world of numbers and spiritual connection.

Ironically, my name and birthdate numerology all calculate to a number 3! Three’s are said to be highly creative and expressive. There is, of course, much more information outlined for each life path number. Aren’t you curious to discover the numbers related to your life?


Stargazing (or more eloquently known as amateur astronomy) is a fascinating, inexpensive hobby. What you need:

  • A dark environment free from light pollution (stars can be visible in Cork despite it being a city!)
  • Your eyes! (no need for a fancy telescope)
  • Preferably: a partner or friend to share the experience with
  • Bonus: the “Sky Guide: View Stars Night or Day” app. It’s a cool $2.99 and works wonderfully, identify different constellations and stars. Also, the app provides brief details over the constellations you scan over. Pretty neat!

While gazing into the dark abyss of space, you realize just how small you truly are. You’ll experience a sense of connection as you notice that you are a part of the large, complex, mostly unknown cosmos. The faint twinkling of stars and planets many millions of light years away emphasises the sheer magnitude of the Universe. It is in these moments that stargazing can be all at once a thrilling, emotionally-moving, profound and existential experience.

As more and more of you probably live in or near a city, stargazing can be a difficult feat. City lights blind our ability to enjoy a dazzling night sky. Lately, vacationers have been traveling to remote destinations that offer a chance to embrace a starry night.

How often do you enjoy the beauty of our cosmos? Has it been too long since you’ve actually relaxed, sat back, and stargazed?