Belonging to Spirit

How I found my way home and became a medium

From as far back as I can remember, I have always been aware of the spirit world. For me as a child it was normal to see colours around people that changed with their health, state of mind or mood. I was aware that I had friends that other people couldn’t see, an instinct that would prompt me to ask questions about people and usually get into trouble for it from my mother. "Children shouldn’t ask questions like that," she said, so I learned to be quiet and just observe.

But always in my quiet moments tucked up in bed, my friends would come and talk to me, share their thoughts and bring me a sense of peace and tranquility. I thought that was normal, that everyone did this, it was just my angels.

I had tried several different churches by the age of 16. I knew that I was looking for something but couldn’t seem to find where I belonged. I had even been asked on the eve of my confirmation, aged 14, by our local vicar not to go back to the church as I asked too many questions and wouldn’t just accept his word and that what he said was correct. I missed singing in the choir and being a part of the bell ringing team but not the religion. It wasn’t for me.

At 16 my father began attending one of our local Spiritualist churches, so after asking a few questions I went along to see what it was like. I expected to find darkened rooms, candles, elderly ladies dressed in black with shawls and crystal balls. Imagine my surprise to discover beautiful flowers, lights blazing, a warm welcome and a medium that looked like everyone’s favourite aunt.

Even stranger still was that as the medium came to the communication part of the service I could actually see the people in spirit that she was talking to! I watched fascinated as person after person seemed to appear, talk to the medium about themselves and their loved ones here and then beautifully fade back into the light that surrounded the medium.

I could hear what was being said and after the service asked the medium why she hadn’t given one particular name, she looked at me, smiled and said, "I didn’t hear it clearly enough, you should be looking to develop your mediumship, you can do this." I was home.

Over the next few months I continued to attend and was encouraged to learn and explore my own spirituality and very quickly discovered all that I had been pushing away for years was an integral aspect of myself that I had no option but to take hold of.

The most awesome and humbling aspect of my work is that moment when you share with another person the message from their loved one who they thought was dead and gone. To be able to give them the comfort, peace, proof and knowledge that they still live on, to see the smiles and the tears, to be able to reach out to people and ease that loss is truly one of God's blessings.

At the tender age of 17 and a half I took my first church service. My life has never been the same since. Some 30 years later I now work full-time for spirit, I travel the world teaching, healing, communicating and sharing my gift with those who choose to listen and I live my life in service to spirit and am honoured that they allow me to do so.

- For more information www.libbyclark.biz

Libby Clark is an Officiant of the Spiritualists National Union who has been a working Spiritualist Medium for 30 years. She is a Course Organiser / Tutor at the Arthur Findlay College, and works worldwide as a Spiritualist medium, teacher, healer, trance healer. www.libbyclark.biz
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Scotland's vast deficit remains an obstacle to independence

Though the country's financial position has improved, independence would still risk severe austerity. 

For the SNP, the annual Scottish public spending figures bring good and bad news. The good news, such as it is, is that Scotland's deficit fell by £1.3bn in 2016/17. The bad news is that it remains £13.3bn or 8.3 per cent of GDP – three times the UK figure of 2.4 per cent (£46.2bn) and vastly higher than the white paper's worst case scenario of £5.5bn. 

These figures, it's important to note, include Scotland's geographic share of North Sea oil and gas revenue. The "oil bonus" that the SNP once boasted of has withered since the collapse in commodity prices. Though revenue rose from £56m the previous year to £208m, this remains a fraction of the £8bn recorded in 2011/12. Total public sector revenue was £312 per person below the UK average, while expenditure was £1,437 higher. Though the SNP is playing down the figures as "a snapshot", the white paper unambiguously stated: "GERS [Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland] is the authoritative publication on Scotland’s public finances". 

As before, Nicola Sturgeon has warned of the threat posed by Brexit to the Scottish economy. But the country's black hole means the risks of independence remain immense. As a new state, Scotland would be forced to pay a premium on its debt, resulting in an even greater fiscal gap. Were it to use the pound without permission, with no independent central bank and no lender of last resort, borrowing costs would rise still further. To offset a Greek-style crisis, Scotland would be forced to impose dramatic austerity. 

Sturgeon is undoubtedly right to warn of the risks of Brexit (particularly of the "hard" variety). But for a large number of Scots, this is merely cause to avoid the added turmoil of independence. Though eventual EU membership would benefit Scotland, its UK trade is worth four times as much as that with Europe. 

Of course, for a true nationalist, economics is irrelevant. Independence is a good in itself and sovereignty always trumps prosperity (a point on which Scottish nationalists align with English Brexiteers). But if Scotland is to ever depart the UK, the SNP will need to win over pragmatists, too. In that quest, Scotland's deficit remains a vast obstacle. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.