Sunday, February 14, 2021

True tales of the woo-woo.

Mist on the Rhine | copyright Lynne Cantwell 2019

So you all know I write a lot of stuff that deals with the woo-woo, as Naomi Witherspoon calls it. What you probably don't know is that I've had a number of brushes with the woo-woo myself. 

A lot of people have. But those who experience odd things don't often discuss it because they're afraid -- rightfully so, in many cases -- that they'll either be scoffed at or (depending on the religion of their audience) told they're consorting with demons.

Right now I'm taking a Paganism-related class online in which the instructor encouraged us to share our weird experiences in our private group. A whole lot of people came forward. Their experiences run the gamut from seeing ghosts to experiences with deities to, well, weird things.

Here are three of mine.


I'm reasonably sure that at least some of what we call intuition is more than just thoughts in our own heads. Take this weird thing that happened to me more than 30 years ago. 

The Mensa chapter of which I was a member organized a regional gathering, and as part of the entertainment, a friend and I offered to do divinations for any attendee who wanted one. I did a Tarot reading for a couple I didn't know, and as I looked at the cards I'd laid out, I was suddenly sure the woman was pregnant. I had no idea what the news would do to their relationship (this was the '80s -- for all I knew, they could have hooked up at the RG) so I said something vague like "big news and big challenges are coming" and left it at that. They weren't from our chapter and I had no way of finding out later whether I was right. But I was sure I was.

You could call that intuition, I suppose. But that certainty didn't come from inside my own head.


This next weird thing is more recent -- and a little weirder. As y'all know, I made a big move this past July. And in preparation for it, I sorted through all my stuff, including things I'd inherited from my mother after she died in 2008. In one of my bins of crafting stuff, I ran across a couple of Mom's unfinished projects that I'd kept, meaning to finish them someday. One of the projects was a bunch of embroidered fabric squares for a baby quilt. Mom had done all the embroidery; all that was left was to piece them together. Now I say "all that was left," but it would still have been a ton of work. The blocks needed be sewn together with fabric strips between them, and the batting and the backing fabric attached -- none of which I had -- and then the actual quilting had to be done. And I realized some of the blocks had those rusty stains that old fabric sometimes acquires out of nowhere. I'd have had to figure out how to get those mystery stains out before I did anything else. 

As I contemplated my options, I clearly heard my mother's voice: "Oh, throw it out!"

Mom grew up in the Great Depression. She never threw anything out. But it was definitely her voice. "Are you sure?" I said aloud.

"Yes, throw it out!" she said. 

"Well, okay," I said. "If you're sure." 

Silence. Apparently that was her final word. So out it went.

I am pretty sure I posted about this on Facebook at the time, and I could tell it made some people uncomfortable. I seem to recall that someone tried to talk me into keeping the project anyway. Did they think I was making up hearing Mom's voice to justify dumping those quilt blocks? Or did they think I was delusional? I couldn't tell you. But I'll tell you this: Mom was adamant that I get rid of the thing. Who was I to say no?


One more weird thing: This one happened in the mid to late '90s, around the time my divorce was final. I had picked up a book called Secret Native American Pathways by Thomas Mails. It included instructions for things like making a prayer stick and a medicine wheel, and for setting up your own vision quest. I didn't have the time to head out into the wilderness, or a helper to make it safe -- but I had floor space in the basement. I marked off a rectangle with string, tied the proper colored fabric on each side to mark the four directions, sat in my square, and started praying to Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit of the Sioux. I babbled for quite a while. And as I was asking to be made worthy of love, a voice interrupted me -- literally interrupted me -- and told me I already was. 

I began to cry. Trust me when I say this was not a thought that would have come out of my own head back then. 

I think that was the point when I began to believe the woo-woo was real.


Now it's your turn. Feel free to leave a comment about your own weird experience. Or if you don't feel comfortable sharing it in a public forum, which I completely understand, drop me an email at I believe the more we share our experiences, the less alone we'll feel, and the more accepted the woo-woo will become.


These moments of bloggy woo-woo have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Wash your hands! Stay six feet apart! And wear a mask!


Sharon said...

My mom died in 2009. On inauguration day. Anyway, I had moved back into the family home seven years previously, to take care of her after my father had passed away. We had seven years to become more than mother and child...we were friends. We took trips, and watched football and Jeopardy, gardened and cooked. Anyway, I moved out after she died and lived temporarily in a rental. On the night before my birthday that April, I was a mess...missing her enormously and crying myself to sleep. I woke up very early the next morning, and before I had even opened my eyes, I was aware of a presence in the room. I knew, again, without opening my eyes, that the room was suffused with a rose pink light. I just stayed absolutely still, eyes still closed, for several minutes, and let my Mom visit with me until the light faded.

MED said...

Oh dear, where do I begin...Ok so I used to always have a dream (forever) and I would wake up feeling so happy, nothing could make the day go wrong. In the dream I'm in a little cabin and in walks a man (with no face). The first time my ex and I were together I had that dream, and the man had his face (he was not my first by a long shot...lost count a long time ago).

I lived in a house on Queen Anne Hill. One time I was changing the wall paper in the bedroom, lots of layers. The light in the room kept changing color, ok weird. Then as I was hanging the wall paper ALONE measuring carefully, once, then twice, it was always off. Finally I told "the spirit". Look I've bought this house now, you are welcome to stay here but let me decorate. She and I lived together for many years. She would let me know if she liked a guy I brought home or not. She really messed with them, she would appear in the window to them, then if they stayed, she would take their stuff. Finally I met a Kahuna, told him my story and he said she needs to move on, with sadness, he came over and we had a ceremony, I said goodbye and that was that...

I was pregnant with a child. I was (I thought6-7 months along) I had a dream that it was August (it was) and I was in my bathroom looking out the window, which was strange since it was over the toilet. This was because I was having my baby, but I said, no it isn't time yet, you have to go back. That day (after I woke up) I miscarried my baby boy. It was August, I did look out the window in the bathroom as I went to "take care of the child" after he had been still born.

When my brother died, he was in a hospital. He had been there for almost a month this time. After I called the nurse and told her he had passed, she said to stay as long as I wanted then call her. So I sat next to his bed, said my goodbyes, and looked up and at the cornice of the ceiling and the two walls coming together were the faces of my mom, my dad (his step dad) and him smiling down at me, I could feel them reaching out an hugging me.

Then since he had passed of AIDS we had a lot of time to plan out his memorial service, the music, poetry, who would do what, where it would be held etc. One thing he wanted was the song "Somewhere out there" from American Tail but it was 1992 not much with the internet and I couldn't find the song. So my sister and I are at his place the night before the memorial service and we are doing stuff, when that song comes on the radio...I called he into his room (that's where the radio was) and told her to sit down next to me. We listened to the song together with our arms around each other. So that stubborn man got his way....LOVED him to pieces...

I really believe that if we are living in belief, and not in denial of the wonders of everything, then our ancestors will speak to us, and help and support us...we just need to be open and listen...

Didn't know your sis-in=law was such a witch now did you....LOVE you and happy to share the journey with you.

Lynne Cantwell said...

Sharon, I think it's wonderful that you and your mom had a chance to be so close. I'm sure you're right that she visited you on that birthday morning. :)

Lynne Cantwell said...

MED -- of course I knew you were such a witch! <3 Love your stories. Thank you for sharing them!