Stories of ghosts and haunting have frightened us since the beginning of time. Until recently few have dared to contact the deceased and discover the true nature of earthbound spirits and the phenomena they create. Our understanding of the afterlife has evolved, and with it the reality that ghosts are just like us, facing many of the same problems we face every day.
Here we share an excerpt from Toward the Light, the first guide dedicated solely to spirit rescue and its role in saving earthbound spirits from their self-imposed exile on earth. This excerpt focuses on the many reasons why spirits become earthbound and is excerpted from Chapter 2.
At the time of our death, our Silver Cord becomes detached and our soul begins to make the transition to the spiritual world. Because death and dying vary so much from person to person, the experience of this transition varies as well. Upon death, the soul is usually greeted by family, friends, loved ones, guides, and angels. These afterlife spirits help the soul transition to a higher plane of existence, also known as the “other side.” Granted, there are no sides to heaven and earth. One does not cross a distinct line into heaven. To say it’s more complex is an understatement. “Crossing over” is just an easy analogy to explain the transition of the soul from the earth plane of existence and a return to the greater consciousness and energy level known as heaven.
Someone experiencing a very slow death over the course of a few days may have already made contact with their guides, angels, or family to prepare them for their transition. Their loved ones comfort them, stay by their side, and slowly help them find their way to the other side. This slow process may happen during times of a long medical illness, coma-like states, an injury that lasts for days and gets worse, and so on. Their soul makes its transition very slowly allowing them ample time to prepare and feel at ease. The closer the person comes to death, the stronger the pull to the other side.
Those souls that are ready for death find themselves being pulled to the other side. Some people have experienced a white light or tunnel that guides them to heaven whereas others find themselves surrounded by friends and family. Once the person makes the conscious decision to cross, she transitions very easily.
Although the transition is made easily for most, there are souls that do not cross over. These souls do not complete the full transition and remain earthbound. It’s been thought in the past that earthbound spirits reside in the physical plane of existence. Where they remain is actually just above the physical plane, but still well below the astral plane of existence. The stage of transition determines which energy level the spirit resides in. Meaning, someone who just died will still be closely connected to the physical plane and will slowly pull to the higher and lighter levels of existence throughout the transition process. Those who make the full transition will move through these levels very quickly whereas those who find themselves confused or scared during death will move very slowly. Because of this slower movement to the higher and lighter states of existence, the spirit’s ego, mind, and emotions will get in the way and may stop the spirit from further movement. These spirits will find themselves between states of existence. Because the state they reside in is closer to the physical earth plane, these souls are known as “earthbound spirits.”
Why spirits remain earthbound
The reasons why the soul does not decide to cross are as individual as the person who has made the decision not to cross. Some common reasons are due to:
· Fear: There are many different reasons why spirits feel fear at the time of their death. Fear of death itself can be overwhelming for the spirit especially if they’ve been taught to believe that death is a negative experience. Religious, cultural, and personal expectations and beliefs can hinder the spirit from crossing over. In some cultures, death is believed to be negative, so sadness and fear are strongly associated with the experience. Also, certain cultures or societies do not believe in the afterlife, therefore, death becomes feared. Though the spirit’s consciousness after death becomes aware of their soul’s continuation once the person has died, the fear will sometimes remain and will keep the spirit from transition. Other than fear of death itself, the fear of judgment is a powerful reason for spirits to remain behind. The reassuring white light signals possible punishment for those who have committed violent acts and believe they will be judged upon their crossing.
· Anxiety: Those experiencing fear regarding death will most likely also experience anxiety as well. Anxiety can manipulate the energy around the spirit. Thoughts and feelings create energy manifestations around spirits. So, if a spirit is anxious due to fear of judgment, the environment around the spirit will become dark and negative, feeding into the spirit’s fear. This negativity can overpower the spirit. Their focus will now be on their negative environment, and less toward the white light and their guides. Anxiety isn’t always created through fear; it can also be experienced from loss, grief, and through the protection of others. Anxious feelings for the safety and welfare of others left behind by the person’s death can also be a deciding factor for some spirits. For example, if a parent or guardian of a child unexpectedly dies while caring for the child, the parent might likely want to stay behind to make sure the child is safe and protected. Some spirits do eventually cross over once they know the child is safe, some do not. Often they decide to stick around and stay close to their loved ones even after the danger is gone. Anxiety can create a false belief that they are always needed and the spirit will remain earthbound until their fear and anxiety have subsided.
· Grief: Spirits grieving for their lost body may hold back from crossing over because they have a hard time disconnecting from their physical life. Changing from the physical to a non-physical form is usually a natural experience that most spirits accept right away. Just like any other experience, there are those select few that can’t let go as easily and will stay very close to their physical body and their loved ones. It isn’t until the earthbound spirit accepts celestial form that it is able to release its hold on physical life.
· Anger: Anger can be felt in many different ways by the earthbound spirit. Some spirits feel anger over the situation of their death. A rage felt that their lives were taken from them (victims) or anger at a loss of control over others (sociopaths, murderers) can be felt. Those spirits that weren’t ready to die might feel anger at God for losing their lives too soon. They feel God has full control over the reason for their death and direct their anger at God for letting it happen. They turn their back to the white light out of spite and frustration.
· Emotional pain: Emotional wounds can linger long after a person has passed on. Unresolved emotional conflicts and issues we all struggle with are only amplified after we pass on, making it even harder to let go of the pain and move on. Earthbound spirits have a hard time letting go due to the overwhelming emotions that they are faced with. Counseling and emotional support are needed to help calm and comfort these spirits.
· Trauma: Traumatic death can cloud or disillusion the spirit from their guides. Some deaths can be so fast that they do not even realize they have died. Fast deaths include fatal accidents, medical conditions, murder, and suicide. These types of deaths can be very traumatic which causes the spirit to release from their body very quickly. This fast release from the body can leave the spirit dazed and confused. If you can, think about what it feels like to be hit on the head by a very hard object when your back was turned. Imagine how out of sorts, dizzy, confused, painful, and scary that situation is. The same is experienced for the spirit but on a deeper level.
· Guilt: People often hold onto guilt about a decision they made or actions that they regret taking against others. Some actions may have led to the pain and suffering of friends or loved ones. The experience of death usually prompts a life review or a “look back” regarding their life. This isn’t a full life review that spirits complete on the other side, but rather a quick glimpse at the life they lived and the choices they made. Knowing that they caused harm to someone else may cause the spirit to feel guilt and shame. The slower the transition for the spirit to the other side, the longer the spirit has to think about these mistakes and negative choices. That guilt can be strong enough to cause the spirits to walk the earth, trying to reconcile their guilt or feelings of failure. It isn’t until the spirit can face the decisions they’ve made and forgive themselves enough, that they decide to make their way to the other side.
· Holding onto earthly possessions: Greed and the insatiable hunger for material things can compel spirits to remain behind, unable to let go completely of the physical world. Addictive or obsessive behaviors are usually present before death and can continue in the spirit world. These behaviors are usually released once the spirit has crossed over and connects to a higher consciousness. Earthbound spirits have yet to make the full transition; therefore, their negative mentality of possessiveness and greed are still very much a part of their consciousness.
· Not ready to die: These spirits believe it really isn’t their time to go and are in a state of disbelief that causes them to ignore the white light and beckoning loved ones, instead turning away in an attempt to deny what has occurred to them. Unresolved issues can influence the spirit to stay behind until they feel resolution over a problem or situation. Sometimes messages to their loved ones here in the physical world need to be made so that the spirit feels comfortable enough to move on. Another reason spirits stay behind is because many people believe that when they die, they become someone or something else. They believe holding onto the life they lived prolongs their personality and personal joys. Many people get caught up in the comfort of the familiar. Crossing over doesn’t sound appealing if change is involved. Once these spirits finally decide to release their hold on life, they transition very easily.
· Just a dream: When a soul leaves their physical body, their soul or spirit now resides in a non-physical plane of existence. Because it is non-physical, all physical properties cease to exist for the soul such as time and space. Time no longer continues the same way it does in the physical world and spirits get “trapped” in time, or so it seems in their consciousness. This trapped state of consciousness or “dream-like” state keeps the spirit separated from their guides, angels, and family which is why they do not follow them to the spirit world. Though the soul is blind to their guides and angels, they are never alone. Our guides and angels are always by our side.
· Love: Love, or so it seems to the spirit, can keep the spirit earthbound due to emotional attachments to others. Holding onto romantic partners or obsessive attachments to people they have feelings for can keep the spirit very close to that individual. Lust or desire for others keeps the spirit at a low vibrational level because it isn’t true unconditional love. Other spirits feel such a strong devotion to the ones they love that they find it hard to let go. These emotions can overwhelm the spirit, making them less receptive to their guides and loved ones.
Amy Major is a trained psychic, empath, and medium with more than 20 years' experience in the paranormal and spiritual fields. At a young age she learned she had the ability to communicate with her spiritual and animal guides. Throughout her childhood she developed astral projection as well as the ability to see auras.
Amy has been a successful spirit rescue medium since 2002 and was the lead medium on many local ghost investigations. She works alongside other mediums and spirit rescue specialists to help aid spirits in their transition to the other side. She lives with her husband and four children in New Hampshire and conducts workshops and seminars locally and nationally.