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Posted by Gretchen on February 10th, 2013

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There is so much I could add to Choices In The Afterlife from the client work I have done since the book came out that I needed a venue to tell more stories. So I decided to write a short, fun newsletter and send them to the list of email names I keep of clients, people who purchase the book, friends, etc.





February 2016Hello Friends,

When I am with the deceased, in my mind’s eye, I see a body. I then validate with my living client whether their deceased loved one had freckles, how tall or what build they were, hair and eye color and also clothing choices. Obviously I am not seeing their physical body. Perhaps I am seeing a holographic memory of their body projected by the mind of the deceased. Perhaps I am seeing their sensory memory body- which is what I call the combination of the mental and emotional body once the physical one is dropped. 
As you know, this year’s newsletters will be on the theme of life more than the afterlife. What do you think of when you think of your emotional body or how do you imagine your mental body? Do you think of your mental body as smaller than your physical outline? Do you think of your emotional body having colors or extending beyond the confines of your physical outline? 
I have a feeling, from my work with the deceased, that our mental and emotional bodies correspond in size to our physical body. I am sensing our emotional content is spread throughout our body energetically, as is the energy of our thoughts and the margins of which match our skin in the physical body. Perhaps this is why, when we get massage,  we are nourished mentally, emotionally and physically.  
When I was a child I had moments of rapture. When in trance, decades later, I asked to know what these moments actually were. The answer I received was that all of my bodies were vibrating at the same frequency and so were perfectly united and aligned. I can’t even imagine getting into these states again although the practices of yoga and meditation may be steps in that direction. I suspect Kundalini yoga would be an even better path to the unity of the mental, emotional and physical. 

The more I study energetic healing techniques the more I understand how mind, emotion and physical is interconnected to express health, and the greater is my appreciation for the multifaceted vessel which carries the God spark within each of us.





January 2016, new direction

Hello Friends,


We begin our afterlife with the same overall mental, emotional and spiritual condition we developed in life.  In this coming year, I want to explore how our healing and habits in life set the stage for our subjective experience in our afterlife.

Here in life, what we think does not seem to exist instantly around us as it does in the afterlife. But still our thoughts here in physical create forms not perceived with our five physical senses. Clairvoyants can see these forms. Some mystics call these thought forms elementals because habitual thoughts can seem to take on a life of their own.

Let’s say you are often annoyed at your neighbor for making a lot of noise. The more you dwell on the problem the more you notice every little noise they make. But sometimes, when you are not even home, or when the neighbor is not home, you still have the thought of: I hate it when my neighbor makes noise. It plays on a loop in your mind which can be more annoying than the neighbor’s noise was in the first place!

This is because the form of the habitual thought is alive and well within your energy field. Our thoughts, in physical life, are seemingly externalized. In other words our thoughts seem to leave our mind. But in fact, these habitual emotionally charged ideas return to and dwell in our subconscious more energized than ever. They surface even when the condition is not present.

OK, so you can’t stand your neighbors anymore and you move. The next place you live seems to have noisy neighbors as well. That is because you have brought the form of the well energized thought elemental with you. Your thoughts are recreating the same reality even if only in your own head.

When we drop the physical body, the thought forms we have repeatedly practiced and energized are still in our energy field, within our mental and emotional body. Even without physical ears we may believe our afterlife is – at least at first- an­­­ annoyingly noisy place if we have not neutralized the thought pattern of hating noise we do not make or choose to listen to in life.

Neutralizing our negative habitual thinking is just one small form of healing we can do in life which will pave the way for a more peaceful mind not only here but in the here-after.  When we become the observer of our thoughts we have a chance at changing them. Then we can replace the negative emotional charged thought with a neutral one whenever the old thought habit surfaces.

We can choose to think, for example, all noise is OM. Perhaps replacing our habitual thought with the idea that it is only noise and it cannot harm me. You’ll know you have the thought replacement tailor made to dissolve your thought form when – in thinking it, you take a huge breath or sigh. No matter how many times we need to replace the thought when we catch our self in a circular pattern, it is well worth the small effort it takes.

A noisy neighbor may seem like a silly example, but in the coming months I will build upon the idea of thoughts as forms we carry with us into the afterlife.

My warmest wishes for a blessed 2016

Greetings at long last!
I am so grateful you subscribe to my letters, open and read them.
For the last year I've been writing a book about horses. Our book is
about the visual language of the horse and how we can mimic it to
have conversations with them in their own language. Horse Speak will
be out this coming spring and is available for advance sale on Amazon
God/Source/Spirit gave me about a month off to harvest and preserve
the veggies from gardens.  Then, lovely deceased people began to
influence their living, grieving loved ones, bringing them to me. I
must have a reputation on that vibratory sphere as I never promote
myself on this one!
In one of my recent readings this fall, my deceased client commented:
So good of you to come out here and be with us. This is my gold
standard for the work, if I am not with the deceased in real time, in
their world I do not consider the work successful. Psychics can
perceive many types of energy and vibrations but I want to BE with
the deceased. Still it was nice to be appreciated by someone in the
world of spirit.
In my most recent reading my living client commented:  you really are
all about the deceased. It is true, although I bridge the gap and
facilitate conversation- I am more in tune with the deceased client
than my living client during the readings. I'm passionate about them,
their experience, their thoughts, their reality.
One day I will find out how it is possible for some form of myself to
walk among the deceased, for now I'm just grateful to the forces I do
not understand which make the work possible.
Warm wishes to all,
Gretchen Vogel
Choices Publishing
Keene NH
 Jan 2014I’ve been privileged to do repeated readings for several parents in
the years since their children died. In these readings I’ve been
able to follow the young people’s stories in the world of spirit.
There are three I’d like to share briefly with you.One child died in an auto accident, one enacted suicide and one died
from accidental overdose. Their parents, when they came to work with
me were all already IN RELATIONSHIP with their children. My work was
and is to validate their relationship from my perspective with
details I could not know.All the children- without exception- are devoted to helping heal
their family here. All are also learning and growing emotionally
mentally and spiritually.But there are differences in the paths they choose as well. One young
woman has aged on the time line which she would have in physical. She
finished her studies by auditing her classes (gives a new meaning to
the word audit doesn’t it?) and pursued a career in fashion design.
From time to time she looks over the shoulder of her favorite
designer planting her aesthetics in the mind of the designer so
strongly some of her ideas are manifest here in physical. She has a
boyfriend she met there and they have a mutually projected apartment
which both her mother and I have been to several times in her world.
The last time I visited her in a reading she had her recently
deceased grandfather with her. This young woman is beloved to me and
has contributed to how I work with families.Another young woman I’ve been blessed to meet has a different
story. She does not project an aging body in the world of spirit,
remaining at the age of 16 so she will always be as her mother
remembers her, especially when the mother dies. (great idea…I’d
keep my 16 year old body to go with my 60 plus year old mind!) She
has remained focused on her family and close friends almost
exclusively. She was able to greet her grandparents when they died
and rejoiced at this opportunity to be of use and service. Last I
knew her mother is writing a book on their interwoven story as it
continues.A young man, who also feels like a part of my life story now, had
dedicated years of his new spirit life to helping other addicts who
crossed over. He has recently moved on from that work into deeper
self-healing. In a recent reading he had described how he asked to
understand and achieve self- love, then went off to study and heal.
His mother felt his absence while he was doing this work but now he
is fully present with her once more. Not only does he arrange certain
music to play for her, he creates visual puns for her all the time
too numerous to relate in the context of this letter. His new project
is to manifest his thoughts in forms his mother will see with her
eyes and not just in her mind.

He also suggested the following exercise for other grieving parents.
For those of you reading this whose child is no longer in physical I
would like you to consider his idea. Image a story of your child’s
life in the world of spirit. This story will be how you imagine your
child to be evolving since they died. Imagine if they had chosen to
age or not along with us. Imagine a place they might have created to
be in when not in your house. Imagine what they would explore, how
they would help the family, or how they might contribute to our

Some part of us knows how our stories are still interwoven with
deceased loved ones and parental intuition is even stronger. Some of
your imagined story will have elements of the truth.

Wishing you an abundance of peace in 2014,

DEC 2013

It is commonly believed the veil which separates us from the deceased is thinner at Halloween than at other times of the year, perhaps because Halloween coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls Day in many liturgical calendars. But I don’t think Halloween is when the deceased are closest to their living loved ones. I think the veil is most permeable at the holiday season, the time from Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, Christmas to New Year.


Many of us find a way to bring their legacy and spirit into our holiday activities. We often reproduce our mother’s or grandmother’s recipes at Thanksgiving or Hanukkah cooking their traditional foods. We might make the same cookies a friend used to in anticipation of Solstice or Christmas celebrations.


On New Year’s day I always have black eyed peas as a nod to my southern mother. Each year we decorate with a ceramic tree my husband’s mother made. Sometimes I see something while shopping I know my Dad would like and then, in a split second, realize there is no need to purchase it.


As many of you know it was four years before I had conscious communication with my mother who died in 2003. My most treasured visit with her came late on Christmas Eve 2008. I wasn’t asleep or dreaming, just drifting off but with my mind I knew she came and was sitting on the edge of the bed. I saw her and I smelled her, I even felt the bed sink a bit when I first noticed her there. The gift of a visit, her presence so palpable. It was the best present ever.


So let’s say the names of our loved ones out loud during this holiday season. Let’s tell stories and cook their food, use their plates and candlesticks. This is the time when we miss our loved ones the most. But this is also the time when our loving thoughts and actions create a gentle portal so they can come close to share with us this season of peace and love.




November 2013

I was recently on the phone listening to a close friend tell me about her reading with an animal communicator and one of her horses. In the background I heard her husband say: “that is only a story you tell yourself to make yourself feel better”. Having just watched The Life of Pi for the third time, the idea of choosing one story over another was very much on my mind.

 Of course we will hold to the ideas which make us feel better; the story that helps us feel happier or feel less afraid of death even if these beliefs evolve as we change or age. We need to feel like there is some plan which someday will explain the equally strong potential of good and evil within us humans. No matter if we call the plan Universal Consciousness, Source or God, our positive beliefs make it possible for us to navigate our life in a compassionate, light and love filled way.

 I don’t have to believe in the afterlife, I know with certainty we persist after death as individuals. The evidence is overwhelming to me when client after client validates details within my readings. Nevertheless, I enjoy reading of others certainty. Betty White uses these amazing words regarding the world of spirit  in Across the Unknown:

 “Our spirit body is perfectly real and functions in a world which corresponds to its substance. In one sense it is more substantial than the physical world for it interpenetrates or fills the inter spaces of the physical world.”


 Why do we believe our dense physical world is the most real one, and all the other places we inhabit before physical or after death vague, filmy or insubstantial? The worlds of spirit and our world may be of different densities but they are equally real to the people within them. My story tells me all possible experiences wherever we have experience are intermingled and accessible in the here and now.

Some of you hope there is an afterlife so you can be with your loved one again. Some of you know you are still with your loved one even if your interface is now different. It is entirely possible to believe your deceased loved one as alive in a density of experience which corresponds to their spirit body, just as ours corresponds to the physical earth density.


We all get to choose what we believe; our own truth, our own story. When the outworking of a belief translates into positive action toward our self and all we are in contact with we experience a measure of happiness and peace. When the outworking of our story is we survive crippling grief and continue to love, well this may well be the greatest accomplishment of all.

Thanks for reading my words,

Gretchen Vogel

Oct 2013


Betty White, a great mystic from the early 20th century, suffered a few months of wasting aggressive cancer before she died in 1939. Her husband Stewart wrote in: Across the Unknown, at first he was relieved her suffering was over and then he became astounded when all the pain he had been dreading and bracing himself for simply weren’t there.


Instead he experienced the intimate feeling of companionship we get sometimes with a loved one when we are simply in the same room, perhaps reading on a snowy night with a fire in the fireplace, not looking at each other or talking, just being together. Shortly after she died he writes he was flooded with this feeling of companionship but in such an intensity and purity as he had never experienced in all their decades of living life together.


He was filled with not the despair or devastation as he had feared but with pure happiness caused by a deep feeling of loving companionship. He wrote this feeling lasted and was with him always.


Few people have this experience although it is possible. So many of us cannot seem to feel the surety of our deceased loved one who is still close by and this- in itself- can place  an additional burden to our grief as we grope to accept and adjust to our pain.


The messages or communication from loved ones cannot reach to our minds when they are clouded with intense emotion or chemically altered. They can get through when we are accepting and aware in the present moment and when our mind is relaxed, for example in dream state or just upon waking to consciousness from sleep, or when we are driving the car, perhaps just listening to music and we feel our loved one is sitting beside us.


The more we are dwelling in the present moment the more likely we are to observe and recognize the messages conveyed in a bird hovering, a butterfly which follows or lands on us, when we smell something reminiscent of our loved one or feel as if they are watching the same thing we are.


If you feel like you are just imagining all this take heart. Betty taught imagination is the tool we all possess to reach into the world of spirit. Validation of your imaginings will come with how you feel in that moment.

In appreciation for each of you who opens and reads my efforts,

Gretchen Vogel

Choices Publishing




February 2013

Hello Friends,
In appreciation for pets who are in the world of spirit I thought I’d share a meditation/visualization you can do to reach out and thank them or acknowledge their gifts of love to us.
Be in a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed for 20 minutes or so. You can make a recording of these steps or have a friend read them to you so you don’t have to open your eyes once you begin.
1. Imagine there is a warm breeze blowing gently against the front of your body, imagine this carries away all thoughts of past or future. See your concerns flowing away in the breeze.
2. Fill your physical body with starlight energy, or the light reflecting off snow or through diamonds.
3. Imagine there is a flat open flower in the center of your mind where your brain is located in your physical body, put a stem on the flower corresponding to where your spine is located and imagine light washing from the bottom of your spine up through the center of the flower through the top of your head.
4. Now imagine there is a small version of yourself, dressed as you are, sitting in the center of the flower with the light washing up over you, reach around and make sure the petals of the flower are open and lovely all around where you sit.
5. Ask for the protection of your angels or guides and set an intention to be with your pet, pray also to be in light and love.
6. Imagine there is a path leading out from the flower through the third eye in your forehead and see yourself stepping from the flower onto the path, watching your feet move until you feel your pet on the path.
7. Hug, smell and thank your pet, do whatever feels right.
8. When you feel complete come back to the flower and merge into your physical  body – then have a carrot or apple, some earthy raw veggie to ground you.
Sometimes messages come through from the pets we love, you may want to journal something.
I feel a part of a loving pet is always within our heart and through this meditation we can touch the energy of that love.
Blessings to all of you,
Gretchen Vogel
Choices Publishing, Keene, NH

April 2012 letter

My mind is so busy judging what I do as a success or failure. No matter how hard I try it is disturbing for me to not deliver through my physic abilities the messages my living clients want to hear.
I did a reading with a lovely woman in the southwest recently. I had worked with her before with her deceased twin sister and that reading was quite a fun and wonderful communication. Since then, one other sister and her mother had also transitioned to the world of spirit. All three were present in the recent reading.
It was what the newly deceased sister had said that was difficult for my client to hear. This sister struggled with depression and, if I recall, had some addiction issues with alcohol. This sister spoke to the hidden challenges of her life in spite of an outward appearance of great energy and success. I wondered how my living client was processing these thoughts as even during the reading I felt how hard this was emotionally for her to hear.
In another reading with a new client recently I felt the reading was blocked. I don’t charge if the reading is not successful, so of course there is no fee for the time I spent with this client. I felt at times I was on the wavelength of his mother, but the energy was not right, I may have been too involved with his pain, or I may have mentally been too much in my own mind and not in the void of non thought it takes to hear the deceased.
I’ve been asking my guides for a way to deal with disappointing clients. An answer did come to me.
It is all in the divine plan.
Not that I  believe in absolute fate (we have a lot of choices within our plan), or am excusing myself. It is more a matter of trust. It is a matter of releasing the resistance to what will happen, what did happen or didn’t happen in one case. Accepting that we all have a divine plan and our higher consciousness or our guides and angels will help us navigate this plan makes it possible to not judge myself. It is my new mantra.
Warmly, Gretchen
We are blessed to have Echart Tolle’s work, especially The Power of Now. Enjoy his mind!
also check out The Complete Works of Florence Scovel Shinn, a woman like Eva Pierrakos who was ahead of her time





February 2012

Just the other day I was walking my dogs at the end of the afternoon. The sun, low in the sky to my left, was in between some clouds.
Horizontal light was streaming across the field and striking the white birch trees which were on my right. The trees were glowing an intense yellow and I stopped to watch them for a while. As the sun was setting the light softened as if a dimmer switch was attached to the sun. The qualities of the yellows on the trees changed from a strong yellow/orange color to a custard yellow, and softening further to a pale pastel and then to a gray tone pastel.
The field changes in elevation about 300 feet and as I walked up I saw this happen over and over, as if the sunset followed me. I kept walking into the same light event for about a half an hour.
All I could think of as I watched the light withdraw again and again was how I hoped my death would be like that gentle withdrawal of light. Hoping that the life force that animates my physical body will leave that peacefully.
The moment of death is a compelling time that all of us wonder about. Most of the deceased I work with were mentally aware of their transition out of a body. But what about the life energy leaving the body? Only one man articulated that in the last day or so he observed, from his out of body vantage point, the life force leaving his body in waves.
Once I was in a barn when a young very sick horse was shot outside (This can be a humane act if the shooter knows exactly what they are doing.) I was standing in a nearby stall with my horse. I felt the life force leave that young horse and pass right through me. I know my horse felt it to, not the gunshot, but a moment after a wave of energy passed through us both and we shuddered.
We don’t often think about the energies taking flight when we die, we are more concerned with consciousness. And we should not expect to have any awareness issues with transitioning to a non physical vantage point or mental focus. But that light of that day withdrawing from the forest – that gentle dimming of the light -would be a wonderful way for the life force to leave our body at death. Perhaps our expectation can make it so.
my warmest wishes,

January 2012

Hello Everyone,

I may have mentioned before my amazement that the deceased know the smallest detail of my life and can use a detail I may have even forgotten to lead me to understanding a point they are trying to communicate. Every aspect of my life is an open book to people in the world of spirit. I figure if they know that much about me I couldn’t I hide anything if I wanted to.

I suspect all the living people are seen with this clarity by the deceased, in fact I suspect the people in the world of spirit also see each other this clearly. Think of how non-judgmental people in the world of spirit must be to each other to see and accept all aspects of those they meet!

This idea of transparency could make us pretty uncomfortable however. What if our innermost thoughts are able to be read by others. What if our unconscious desires and impulses were able to be seen.

Imagine how much compassion it would take if we saw each other clearly. One way compassion could be developed is through understanding the polarity of the human experience.

In life we all have both polarities of each characteristic within us. Say, for example, we are thought of as being kind or generous. We have to know we are equally capable of being mean and stingy. If we are self realized as a person we know we contain both potentials and yet make a deliberate choice to be the either the fearful polarity of the characteristic or the loving polarity of the characteristic.

One of the tasks of self realization in life is to become transparent at least to ourselves in life. For example, if we are fearful and mask this fear with dare devil behavior, at least we should become aware of our true motivations. This inward chipping away at our masks is a lifelong task but so worth it as we bring consciousness to our actions.

With greater clarity about ourselves we bring a greater level of choice to all our activities in life. By making informed choices we become more empowered with knowledge. With more knowledge we see more possible choices.

May you have many wonderful choices to make in 2012.

December 2011

Dear Friends,

In my book Choices In The Afterlife there is a sentence: when we die we don’t go anywhere at first, we stay near familiar people and places…
I am thinking now that it should have just been: when we die we don’t go anywhere. All the levels I talk about in the book that the deceased experience are also levels we can experience here in a body. The underworld exists here and so does the bliss of unity. I am feeling that we may never really go anywhere. No matter what we are perceiving we only live in the here and in the now.
In the past year I have been living more and more in the land of now, immersed in my present. When I was able to observe my mind and direct what I thought about I started to achieve peace in my mind. Over several decades I worked for inner healing and acceptance, compassion with my self and others.  I may have finally incarnated fully. I feel like I am here now.
The deceased who achieve self realization, and those of us in life who incarnate fully both dwell in the same place. Although we all have our own unique perspective, our own visions, beliefs and memories, different types of bodies that we are focused within, the place is always here and the time is always now.
This connection between the living and what we think of as the dead came into focus for me because of the last reading I did. A wonderful young man living in the world of spirit since he transitioned at the age of 24,  said to his mother that he didn’t want her to torture herself with the thought that he had had a short life. He said that he can play back every moment of his life with perfect clarity and within that exercise his physical life does not seem short at all to him. As he was saying that I had images of thin slices of time, slices of all his prior nows accessible to him through his memory.
Most of the deceased I communicate with are fully aware of the present whatever they are experiencing at that moment- including that I am in my present communicating with them mentally. The deceased that receive help are the ones that do not know they are in their here and now, so their choices are somewhat limited.
I think there should be a wonderful word for here and now combined, because once it is tasted, felt and reached  we have a glimpse of the eternal. We then know that our loved ones have not gone anywhere even though we cannot perceive them as easily. We can never worry again whether we are in or out of a physical body as we know everyone is always in their very own here and their very own now.
No matter what is happening outside of us we are secure in this inner reality. If something painful is happening in our now we observe it and think, this really sucks, I wonder what is the best way to respond. If something beautiful is before us we can fully appreciate that as well. We are present to our life no matter where we are or what is happening. I don’t believe anymore that eternity is a state we can only reach when we are dead.

May you all find some quiet time this month for peaceful thoughts,

Gretchen Vogel

November 2011

Hello Everyone,
A recent reading inspired me to look up the text to the children’s classic, The Velveteen Rabbit.
The reading was with the girlfriend of a man who is now in the world of spirit. She has a vivid and robust knowledge that her boyfriend still exists and is an ongoing part of her life. While some people might think this is only her way of coping with the grief and loss, her boyfriend has a completely different take on their continuing relationship. He says she helps keep him real.
Of all his family members she is the one who knows he is still present, she is the one who feels his touch and the warmth of his personal energy when he lays next to her in bed. She plays the music he enjoys, she still laughs at things he would find funny or ironic. Even in the reading she spoke of him in the present tense.
Here is the quote this made me think of:
“When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
I think our loving actions and thoughts are so important as these gestures we make in our present help them find the now in their experience as well.
I had this relationship with a man who I talk about in my book. We did not get to be friends when he was alive although we liked each other the few times we were in the same place. When he died, he sought me out- I smelled his cigarette smoke in my garden and later meditated with him. My acknowledgement of his continuation and mental interaction with him made him so happy as no one in his family thought in these terms. I’m looking forward to meeting up with him when I arrive at his level of experience.
We may worry that we are holding them back when we have these vivid relationships with a deceased loved one, but nothing we can do will change their choices in the afterlife or take away their free will. As long as these activities are not self destructive or inhibit our grief journey I commend them. Also, I am not trying to make anyone feel bad that they do not attempt relationships with any or all the beloved deceased you know of. Today I just feel like celebrating those special relationships that joyously continue effortlessly, almost of their own accord.
My best to all,
Gretchen Vogel

October 2011

Fall greetings everyone,

I believe it is possible to create from memory large parts of our life after we die. These ultimate reruns are mentioned from time to time in my readings. Several deceased say it is possible to create the same progressive feeling of experience over again; the way life felt when they were in a body.

Only this time things could be different. This time they will not die when they are 38. This time they won’t lose a child in an auto accident, this time they will heal of addiction or won’t have them and be able to sustain a relationship. In the recreated life they can be free of suffering, they can learn how to make some different choices.

Other deceased tell me they just want to have the exact same experience of the loving friendship, the joy of time in that relationship all over again. One component that makes these “times” seem more real is that two (and possibly more) people can agree to progress through the experience and perhaps share an entire life time together. They can build it based on their mutual memories. While having this virtual life time created from memory by oneself is possible I imagine when we are creating with another it becomes that much more powerful an experience.

These mental creations are not reincarnation. These “lifetimes” won’t be here on earth. They will take place in a level of energy where we can create a totally encompassing experience that seems real. These re-creations might be a type of mental healing, or perhaps a celebration of love or just exploration. But it is nice to think we may have the opportunity to do this in our afterlife.

September 2011

Dear Friends,

I’ve been reminded recently how important music can be in our relationships with loved ones in the world of spirit.
One client and friend felt her brother’s presence when a song came on her car radio that they used to practice dancing to when they were young. It brought back the memory of the slow Charleston type of dance that was a huge part of their teenage years.
Another client told me that the play list on her daughters i pod was a comfort to her, a musical time capsule of what her daughter may have heard just before she died. This Mom made copies of her daughters music so she can share it with others.
In yet another recent reading a husband was asked by his deceased wife to play her jazz music in the house every now and then. He is a pianist this is not his style of music but of course he will play it for her.
My favorite stories are from a friend and bereaved Mom who gets musical gifts from her son. On important days and most Saturday mornings she is awakened with a song playing in her head. Sometimes she shares what song her son chooses with me. Some songs are not familiar and I look them up on the internet. I pay close attention to the lyrics as they usually have some interesting message. For example, last Sunday as Irene was dumping so much rain here in New England the song was For Baby (for Bobby) by John Denver. The first line says it all.
Many people have musical connections with deceased loved ones that are never validated. But when that special song comes on the radio and emotion washes over us, it just may be a song-a-gram from a loved one.
I apologize for the absence of an August newsletter.
my best to all of you,

May 2011

Dear Friends,

It is hard to stay on the topic as promised in my last letter when our hearts are breaking for the families of so many who have transitioned this past month. I feel that prayers and love are needed not only for those grieving, but for the earth herself, as Gaia seems to be experiencing powerful and chaotic events within her own systems.

Now, back to sex…as promised.

Several years ago a lovely client, a widow exclaimed to me: my (deceased) husband and I are having sex in my dreams. I wake up just as I am having an orgasm. She wanted to know if these things can really happen. Since I knew something of their relationship, I felt it was entirely possible they were having some experience together. Whether the pleasures were memory based for the deceased husband, or his actual participation was with the energy generated by his widow, who am I to say what is real. She felt it was real, so indeed it was real for her.

Since then, other clients have felt comfortable sharing similar experiences with me. I wanted to write about this most private and intimate permutation of the grief journey because I have some concerns with the pursuit of these events.

When we are in active grief our aura, our emotional energetic body can be open or compromised. We can be open to negative influences not only from other, people callous to or pain, but also open to negativity which can penetrate our mind from unseen sources.

While I believe this union of energy, achieved in life when making love- is still possible energetically with a deceased loved one, I would hope for an element of choice, an element of balance prevails in the mind of the living. If there is any emotional or mental questioning, something is amiss. If there are any elements of compulsion or impulsiveness is these practices, this is not coming from a loving place.

In our grief we may convince our self that our loving deceased partner is turning us on- and this can be the case, certainly. But a loving partner, living here or in the world of spirit would never compromise your personal integrity. There is nothing wrong with physical release but I feel in my heart it can be a spiritual risk to try to habitually share sexual energy with a deceased person.

When we relentlessly pursue the connection with our deceased loved ones, even for something as banal as the lotto numbers- we create an opening in our mind that may be irresistible to another dis-incarnate. I feel it is best to accept connections and communications with people in the world of spirit as gifts, and never pursue, define, demand or expect what may not even be possible for them and potentially harmful to us.

I welcome your thoughts.
my warmest wishes,
April 2011

When a partner dies we are impacted in so many ways. When our sexual expression was linked to the deceased loved one we are obviously impacted in that area of our life as well. Sometimes this theme comes up in my readings. I think there are several permutations of the way this particular loss is expressed between the living and the deceased, so this topic may last for a few newsletters.

I wanted to start writing about sexuality and the deceased with some personal experience. When I was a child I became good friends with a girl who lived at a farm down the road. Since we both had horses we did a lot together until my family moved to New England. We kept up a correspondence through the years and I supported her choice when she told me she had become a lesbian.

She died suddenly of a heart attack a few years ago. I went back to Pennsylvania to her funeral and was welcomed by her lesbian community, many of which were lovely accomplished women. Later that year I observed myself finding women mildly attractive in a sexual way. Once, in a store, a woman struck up an unsolicited but flirty conversation with me. That is when I started to suspect my ole buddy was near me in spirit. She was a practical joker and I’m sure got a kick out of my discomfort. She sometimes joked with me that if I was ever ready to switch teams she would fix me up with a wonderful woman.

It really did take a little while for me to connect what was happening with Charlene, whose early death experiences are part of my Choices in the Afterlife book. When I finally figured it out I reminded my deceased buddy that I was a sovereign nation where my body was concerned and asked her to knock off whatever she was doing to cause this vibration in my aura. The influence immediately ceased and I thanked her kindly. I could imagine her laughing her head off as she always thought I was a little slow to catch on.

My next letter will continue to explore the theme of sexuality and deceased loved ones.

May the long bright days of spring cheer and encourage you,


March 2011

Hello again,

The overwhelming majority of my living clients are women. I can count on one hand the men who have been my clients for readings with their deceased loved ones. Perhaps it takes more courage for men to attempt something so outside their comfort range.

One man I read for wanted to contact a woman friend who had died in a car accident more than a decade before. While I thought I was seeing a lot of detail, I also felt he was being cagey, testing me to see if I really had his friend. That misleading or challenging aspect made the reading a bit uncomfortable for me.

After this, there were two widowers. One was an amazing read, rich with detail. This husband felt he had already been in touch with his wife so the reading was also a validation of his beliefs. I could not find the deceased wife of the other man. I saw some things but never felt I actually was with her in real time so I refunded his money. Yet another male client has had several readings with me and I have enjoyed meeting his friends and relatives who are on the other side.

The most recent man I worked with was a father who had lost his son last fall. I was touched by the heart of this man, broken, yet open still to whatever LOVE was possible between him and his son. It was clear he had raised his son with love and respect. One identifying feature I saw right away was that their son had no piercings or tattoos, which speaks volumes for how confident this young man was in his individuality. The mother of this young man was on speaker phone and I felt the father was also trying to bring some comfort to his wife with the reading.

Readings for living male clients are somewhat different for me than for female clients. Male clients are less chatty in general and less emotional during the readings. Most of my clients are women and a lot of them want to contact a man who they knew in life. I have a lot of opportunity to meet with deceased men. I find that men there are willing to communicate and they are emotionally open as they are more healed.

When I contemplate a reading it makes no difference who is my living client and who is my deceased client, I have to approach them all with an open and relaxed mind. But I am always honored when men have the courage to learn and expand their mind by opening themselves up to the world of spirit.

February 2011

Dear Friends,

I recently had the honor of working with a mother and her adult son who had transitioned to the world of spirit. The son is a lovely person and is functioning beautifully in his afterlife. In spite of her heartbreak, his mother is doing her best to learn and grow through her grief journey.

During the reading she asked her son if her prayers reached him. He replied that her prayers opened the way for love and grace to flow
between them. He did not need her prayers in the way we traditionally think of prayers helping a person, but he loved the connection they made in energy when she did pray for him. The mother said she felt close to her son when she prayed.

This got me to thinking about how the portals are created that make
communication or energy exchanges happen. I suspect it takes some mental agility for the deceased to come into the scene or thought form I visualize to connect with them. In the interactive readings, my living client is the one that projects the scene and all of us are mentally reaching toward each other within it. Love energy seems to create an effective beam of light or path for all of us to follow.

I’ve always felt it was important to set a date with the intention to
meditate with a loved one. As both myself, my client and the deceased think about the upcoming meditation, it may create the portal in time or some type of opening for the communication. This client and her son had worked with another medium before our reading so he already knew how to connect with people here.

I suspect some deceased need help to communicate through a medium. I’m not certain mentally projecting ideas to the living is a skill everyone automatically has there. In many of my readings, there are others in spirit who are with the person I am trying to reach. Perhaps they are helpers with the communication link. I can understand the need for this help if the deceased was not too far along in their self realization or did not believe communication was possible.

I’ve even read there are stations type areas where the deceased go to speak through a medium. Imagine, a celestial AT&T!

January 2011

Dear Friends,

I am sometimes asked my thoughts on the end of the Mayan calendar estimated to be near the winter solstice in 2012. I feel Mayans may have been referring to a transition that is currently happening. Some people already see interactions, our environment and our selves as energy and how everything is all the SAME energy. This perception has already propelled some of us into a higher vibratory state within.

I don’t want to make this sound like the rapture, or that some of us are in this exclusive club called the chosen ones. Developing this energy awareness takes effort to maintain and is a private, internal endeavor. Those who cultivate spiritual/energy genius begin to lose the constraints of physicality. Lineal experience and even the duality of separation from others diminishes. This can feel a bit like the end of the physical world, it is a different perception from the world we knew. But we didn’t go anywhere.

There is an ascending aspect to this perception shift as well. As you know, the physical body is only one of the energy bodies bundled together to form each of us. The other bodies or vehicles are less dense and increasingly refined types of energy. The ascending aspect takes place as we become able to inhabit more layers, more levels of our light bodies. (Recommended reading: Barbara Brennan’s Hands of Light).

Many are thinking about 2012 in the form of catastrophes. I once received a prediction that it is in potential for a mass exodus of human life from earth as a result of something we genetically engineered that our human bodies can’t cope with. Of course, this would not necessarily be a catastrophe for the other surviving life forms. And even if this did occur, some people already integrated with higher vibratory bodies might not be all that inconvenienced by the transition to what we call the afterlife.

The synergistic influence of this shift in perception is like an ever brightening web of light surrounding the planet. We all have a part in this planetary shift but it happens within our own selves. No matter what our path or stage of self realization is everyone constantly -through the choices we make- either contributes to the raising or lowering of their own energy which influences this focus we call earth.

Those contributing to the expansion of love and unity on this planet may now be at the apex of a teeter totter trying to lift the world upward to light and maybe it is this tipping point that the Mayans and other native traditions were reflecting on in the 2012 prophesies. Going forward into the new year may we contribute to a higher, more internally expanding experience while we bless and care for all life in this tiny corner of the universe.

My best wishes,

December 2010

Dear Friends,

I’m working on Choices In Light, my new book about life. I recently had a vivid dream in which I was talking to a group of people about it and they asked why I wrote a book on the afterlife first instead of the life book first. I answered, one of the keys to solving the mystery of life comes in being fearless. Since our primary fear is of death, it is helpful in life to become fearless of the afterlife, fearless of our inevitable death transition.

When we lose the fear of our death transition we can more easily move forward in life, embracing the learning and doing, the creative effort so necessary to our soul evolution. When we lose the fear of our eventual death it frees up emotional and mental energy.

There is an old saying about dying being the worst thing that can ever happen. How could the inconceivably joyful healing and wholeness that is available to EVERYONE in the afterlife be the worst of anything? The afterlife is a continuation of what we set in motion here, but better. As Gordon Phinn writes in his book, More Adventures in Eternity – when we get there we realize the afterlife was worth the long wait.

This fall I have been meditating with several young deceased for their devastated parents. The journey of grief can be so brutal here and yet it can be spiritually transforming as well. All of my parents say they now have no fear of death because it will reunite them with their beloved child.

Granted, physical life is far more challenging than the world of spirit. As the song goes, if we can make it here we can make it anywhere. We can learn to live in the now, we can learn to direct our thoughts, we can feel as if we are living within our soul while still in a physical body and contribute our light and love to this planet. When we lose our fear of death, to a large extent, we also lose our fear of life.

I wish you peace and light in your life as this year draws to a close.


November 2010

I was asked on a recent radio show why I call myself a trance medium instead of just a calling myself a medium. It is because I only work as a medium in an altered mental state. Sometimes I am in a light trance and other times it is a deeply focused trance.

I must go into trance during yoga. A few weeks ago I was laying in Shavasana, at the end of class, and I felt a lot of pain in my right wrist, as if it was cut. In my mind I heard the words: “I didn’t think it would hurt so much.” Then I knew the spirit of a person that had enacted their own transition by cutting their wrist was nearby. I had a fleeting thought that they must have been left handed to have cut their right wrist.

Since my wrist really hurt, (note to self, don’t consider suicide this way…) I got the idea to put the energy of forgiveness, love and healing light on my wrist, hoping this would be transferred to the person in spirit. I kept that up for a few moments.

Then I addressed the deceased person with these thoughts:
You deserve to move into the light, you deserve to heal and begin again. I felt the resistance this idea so I ramped up my thought of forgiveness and love by thinking: many of us take our lives at some point in our evolution, if only to learn that this is not a viable option to solving our problems. I had the feeling this person had been stuck for a while. Just as I felt a softening in their resistance to the idea of a change, I asked for their own guides or angels to lead them away to a higher energy level.

This deceased person may have been associated with someone that was in the class with me. I hoped that if I had helped with a soul rescue their living family would sense, on some level, that their loved one had moved on into a light filled experience.

As you know, I meditate with intention several times a week with clients. I have a ritual for this, a place in my office and a comfortable chair. I prepare with prayers and exercises before I call my clients. Sometimes I take the initiative to meditate in yoga but there are surprises too.

Giving thanks for the network of amazing people I write to each month,

p.s. A dear client, Bill in Philadelphia, gifted me with a book I can’t recommend highly enough. Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves was written in 1969 about the first healing opportunities after we transition out of our physical body. It is more informative about life than the afterlife, it will give you an idea how it is to look back on your life from that vantage point.

October letter (the journey of grief)

Greetings and welcome to new readers.

Recently I did a meditation for Clarice with her deceased mother Anna. Anna said she hoped one day, when her daughter thought of her, a smile would come instead of tears.

As many of you know I’ve been on my own journey in grief this year. Grief shifted my awareness from an outward focus to an inward focus. Perhaps grief is this for others as well. Before our special loved one died, we probably lived facing outward into the solid, colorful physical reality. When that special loved one dies all the stage props of the life we built can fall down. We can feel as if we are left standing -all alone- in the center of an empty stage. Then we must rummage around inside for some way to cope with the pain of grief.

At times going within is not pleasant. I found guilt in there, self recriminations, things that needed to be forgiven. I found myself obsessing about the expectations I had that will now not be fulfilled. I had mean and self destructive thoughts of worthlessness, like the universe had passed some awful judgment on me.

But by going within I also learned to love myself better. I became aware of and changed some of the ways I hurt myself with thoughts and attitudes. In grief we can rewrite the misconceptions we held and learn to look at life through different lenses. One exercise I like is to imagine myself walking into a painful memory with the understanding I have now and saying, it’s OK, you did the only thing you knew to do at the time. When we forgive we erase karma so to forgive can be an energy gain of astounding proportions.

Even though my grief took me to some pretty dark places this year, my journey has also brought me the ability to quickly observe and manage my thoughts. When I had a non productive thought I chanted Mantras or listened to uplifting music. I replaced thoughts of despair with thoughts of gratitude and faith. Sometimes to stop repetitive thoughts I even sang the Beatles song: Rocky Raccoon in my head. The words are tricky enough that you have to think about it. At times these practices felt a bit desperate and then I would tell myself that was OK too.

The inward journey of grief has the power to transform us. I believe we can get through the layers of negativity and come to a place of inner peace. We can love ourself in spite of the pain. It is hard work, kind of a spiritual boot camp. I feel more authentic now, not pretending, not attached to things outside myself. I believe we can honor our deceased loved one by our response to their death, by what we learn from the journey that is grief and one day even start to smile instead of cry.

Also the archive of the radio show I did September 28th with Ginger Quinlan and Craig Eugene is on Ginger’s site:


My best to you with light and love,


September letter (no apologies)

Hi Everyone,

Sometimes I hang out with my dead friends, well my friends in spirit,
not the Grateful Dead groupie kind.

One recent Monday morning I realized Nicole had followed me to my
yoga class. You may remember Nicole,  a gifted young deceased woman I
have the privilege to know due to her mother, my client and friend,
Lisa. Lisa and I had meditated with Nicole on Sunday.

So there I was in yoga class, mentally chatting with Nicole, asking
her if she ever did yoga when she was in a physical body (the answer
was no). I could see her doing all the poses on the huge chart on the
wall, some of which are frankly absurd. We were giggling as she did
them with her light body. I showed her that of course MY astral or
light body can do all the yoga postures perfectly in the class while
my stiff older body struggles to just deepen my practice.

At the end of yoga, there is a time called Shavasana, when everyone
lays on the floor like kids napping in kindergarten. We lay on our
backs, on our mats in what is called corpse pose. Nicole found this
particularly amusing. I did what I often do at this point, which is
take the opportunity to mentally visit with Ollie in spirit. You may
remember Ollie was the horse-love-of-my-life that transitioned this
past spring.

I changed focus in order to be with Ollie and as I was hugging and
scratching Ollie’s spirit form Nicole walked into the scene. I was
pleased but surprised that she joined us. I then helped her feel and
interact with Ollie’s large form and kind presence. When Shavasana
was over I left Nicole and Ollie together to play and get acquainted
and returned my focus to my walking waking life.

Of course anyone would think I was absolutely insane. Here I am
sharing with you all what I felt was a real experience with Nicole
and then both Ollie and Nicole that morning. But my subjective
reality, my mental adventures are real to me and I make no apologies
for them- I’m just glad I am in body at this time in the human
progression that does not persecute psychics or burn them at the

Please note:
At the urging of my web guru I am using a new email service.
I hope this new email format does not get caught in anyone’s spam

May you all be well and enjoying cooler weather,
Gretchen Vogel
Choices Publishing
Keene, NH

August Newsletter: (a lingering death)

I hope this finds you well and enjoying summer. It is so hard for the living to watch a loved one in the process of a lingering death whether from cancer or old age. On the one hand we don’t want them to suffer but on the other hand we feel like their last breath will be the moment our heart breaks in two. In a recent meditation a deceased man, Craig, shared his perceptions during his last days in physical. I have his wife’s permission to share some of what he related to me in our reading. Craig had an inoperable brain tumor and had reached closure with most of his family members. But as he was dying he lingered. He was waiting for his older brother and sister to visit him before he died. Craig said that theirs were the voices he heard when he was conscious in the womb before he was born and he wanted to hear their voices again before he died. He also wanted them to know that he loved them no matter what had happened before. After their visit he felt a sense of completion. Craig said he was in pain in spite of the palliative care but once he was able to get out of his body he did not feel the pain, and over his last four days he was in and out of his body. He would come into his body, be in pain, communicate with his family or friends, then go out and his physical body would look like it was at rest. Craig was going in and out a lot more as he got closer to what he called: his final disconnect. His wife said he saw and talked about his brother that died many years ago and his mother, so they both knew who his greeters were. As he transitioned out of body the last time, his wife said his eyes rolled back and she thought “I’ll never look into his eyes again”. Craig said that he heard her thought and with great effort looked into her eyes to show her how much he loved her as he took his last three breaths. Craig said the final disconnect was not shocking or sudden since he had been in and out many times already. At the death transition, he arose up out of his body as if carried on waves of energy. These waves of energy continued to flow over the next few hours, between what was now his astral body and his physical body laying on the bed. Craig said these soft waves of energy were almost like emanations, back and forth. While this was happening he was standing next to his body with his deceased mother and brother. He thought these waves of energy were the life force, the chi or prana leaving his physical body. Craig’s wife said she sensed these waves as heat coming off his face after he stopped breathing. She said his face seemed luminous and peaceful. She felt when the energy ceased to flow, and then it she knew his body was just matter, not Craig anymore. I have never heard a deceased person describe the energy flow from their physical body to the lighter bodies. This energy flow may happen to everyone during the transition. I believe it was Craig’s advanced self realization that allowed him to see this energy transfer. I am so grateful that I have the time to do individual readings and continue to learn something from each one. My best wishes, Gretchen Gretchen Vogel Choices Publishing, Keene, NH

September letter: (pets)

Hi Everyone,

One way that animals communicate is with visualization. They mentally project a picture of what they are thinking about. Of course in physical, critters also communicate with gestures and vocalizations, but the most subtle way they communicate is with visualization.

One spring I brought a horse back home after boarding her for a winter. I noticed she was standing stock still staring at one of the other horses who was staring back at her. I moved to stand in between them and caught the end of a horsey slide show as one horse was “telling” the other who she had been with, what the barn looked like, the humans there etc. We visualize constantly as we speak, but we are not as conscious of it. Animals can pick up on our visualizations and we can pick up on theirs.

This spring, a client, Mary, had postponed a reading as her beloved dog, Max, had just died. A month or so later when we opened in a meditation to link Mary to her deceased mother…and a large black dog came instead.

Max was a clear as day with me. He showed me a small wicker basket- without a handle, that he was carrying in his large mouth very carefully. My client, Mary, said every evening she compiled a treat basket for the dogs when she went in to watch TV… and she had never let him carry it as she didn’t trust him. I could see him suggesting to her that he carry it and her laughing and telling him no way! Max also showed me the dog that he had loved the most. If memory serves me, it was a dog who is also deceased and Mary was happy they were together.

Max also gave us a bit of a puzzle. He showed me small green and white checkered tiles and that these were close to water. Mary and I went back and forth, I asked if this was a park, a fountain, her bathroom…but it was a month or so later that she realized it was where his water dish was.

Max also communicated some pretty intangible things. He showed me the bathroom in Mary’s house and said: “I won her over”. We figured out that this was about the woman who helped Mary clean. Mary is at an age where scrubbing the tub is a hardship and the woman she had to help was afraid of dogs, and Max is a big black Great Dane cross…. Eventually he won Mary’s helper over and she even let him kiss her once in a while as she was down scrubbing the tub.

Although I can see visualizations from animals both in physical and not, I rarely communicate with deceased animals for clients. Humans are very emotional about beloved pets and it is hard to get through all that human emotion to the messages from the animals. I’m not as comfortable filtering the human emotional component in readings with animals as I am with readings with deceased people. (go figure?) Also, sometimes animals don’t have much to say to us, feeling either like they have said it all and/or -in their intensely NOW focus- don’t even get why we are asking for communication. Mary has mature quiet energy and of course Max has a great spirit. I may have declined the work had Mary asked for Max specifically and then I would have missed meeting the humorous, loving dog.

Last fall, I did a meditation for dear friends who lost their yellow lab Miles (one of the oldest souls I have ever met). Miles was the son of my now deceased Emma, and Miles had helped parent my friend’s 4 children so they were understandably distraught. In an attempt to console them, I opened up to Miles and he gave his humans a great goodbye gift. Miles was in quite a pack of deceased dogs, dogs that he had known in physical. What fun they were having. When Emma came from behind some other dogs to share love energy with me again it was so amazing I just lost it! I was hoping to see Emma, my sweet pea, when I died, I just didn’t want to impose on Emma to remain as the dog I knew if there was something else she wanted to be instead.

I do often find dogs with the deceased. I write at the end of Choices about my friend Dotte who died a few years ago. She was greeted by her grandmother, but also her Phoebe was there. I asked Dotte how it was possible to be with Phoebe out of body. She said Phoebe did not stay with her unless Dotte actually called her and is paying attention to her. Phoebe will come when Dotte needs or wants her but Phoebe doesn’t just hang around with her like she did in life.

When a focus of (our pet’s) energy is self knowing and stong, it does not vanish at physical death. It can reincarnate and even can share the form of another already living animal who is receptive. We know this as channeling in a human sense but animals do this all the time as well. I see my sweet Edmund in our young dog Otto. We still have Edmund’s litter mate/sister, and Otto touches her with with such tenderness at times. I believe I have had the same cat twice, whether one channeled the other or was the reincarnation of the first cat is not important to me, the energy experience of that individual energy focus was the same in each cat.

So we can honor the memory of the special companions, but not close the door at all to having the experience of that pet either here in physical again or waiting for us when we transition to their level of energy. Love keeps all the possibilities alive.

Oh, and we did another reading for Mary in which we contacted her mother- as her mother commented: “once we got the dogs out of the way.”

My best to you all,

August letter (my near death experience)

Dear Friends,

On August 21st it will have been a year since I died. OK, a near death experience but I’ve been thinking about it more as the anniversary approaches and felt compelled to share with you.

A benign tumor on one kidney (who knew it was even there…) ruptured that morning. To say it was painful in an understatement. So there I was in the ambulance screaming as loud as the siren and…

and then…

I saw a beautiful sky blue color all around me.
I felt like a cool breeze was blowing through me- like I was made of air.
I was not in pain.
It was blessedly QUIET.
I thought, can’t I just stay here?
I held onto that place as long as I could.

I remember about where I was on the trip when it happened and I didn’t come back into my body until we got right in front of the emergency room doors…so it must have lasted at least 2 minutes.

I didn’t:
see a tunnel
see anyone else
hear any voices.

It was easy, natural, floating and wonderful- well compared to the immediately previous experience. And I wish it again for real when my time comes.

But then if I died who would the medium be who would connect me to my loved ones on earth?

I know I promised dog stories this month- next month-I hope.

If you have insomnia check out my new you tube segments, the sunflowers are so cheerful:


As always if you do not wish to receive this let me know.

My best wishes to everyone,


PS, I am healthy as my horses now.

July letter: (new forms of meditation)

Hi Everyone,

If any of you want to listen to me live on radio I will be interviewed by Kimmie Rose, this Thursday, July 23rd on CBS Psychic Radio Network which is on some 120 HD stations, also as a live stream if you use the url (or link if it carries through to you) of (http://psychicsonair.com/pages/3991791.php) I should be on from about 9:15 to 10:00AM. I’m not sure if they will be taking calls, the number is: 248-353-7685.

My new form of client work (the meditations) is quite interesting as it develops and working with individuals, both the living and the living without physical bodies (aka deceased) are teaching me lots. This new form is helping the physical living client in a visualization to change their mental focus and get to see and be with the beloved deceased, having a direct mental and spiritual experience with me there as a coach, protection and interpreter.

One recent client was so good at the visualization, she was out there and had the platform for communication- or scene well developed, and the mother said to me that she couldn’t figure out how to get into her daughters thought projection. So I returned the client’s focus to her bedroom where she was sitting, the mother joined us there as I mentally focused there myself.

Another recent client easily reached her daughter (she had been with her in dream state many times already). I was curious how the daughter “saw” me, and she said I looked like the man in the moon to her- that I was sort of hovering up there watching over what was happening- how cute is that!

Not long ago I re-read a book, the Eagle and the Rose by Rosemary Altea. She has a native American shaman for a guide named Grey Eagle who brings her the deceased. I know I have angels who protect me but I’ve been a bit jealous that Rosemary has this immediate, tangible helper on hand when she works. With this new form the living client through love calls the deceased so I can see them and it saves a lot of time and searching for me. We can get on with the details of the communication much more easily and clearly. I don’t expect that we will never have another deceased coming instead of the one we ask for, there are so many who want to communicate and bask in the love energy that these readings generate- but I think it will be easy to tell when we have and imposter- in fact that has happened already, so we politely asked again for the targeted deceased.

Here is a wonderful story from a recent reading. When we (my client was the daughter) asked who greated the mother when she died I got the words very clearly: A GREAT LOSS. So I asked the client, who suffered a great loss? She replied, of course that she did when she lost her mother. I said yes, but I am seeing a young man around the age of 30 as the greeter of her mother, did she have a brother who predeceased her, cousin, etc. My client answered, no..then I said I see him dancing.

She then understood. Her grandfather, her mother’s father died when she was two, so no one knew much about him- EXCEPT for this one story that when her mother was born her father drank too much celebrating, and was dancing in the street. Well, the father- when he greeted his long lost daughter- danced his joy again when she died- imagine, we who stay in life can be the ones long lost to the loved ones who continue life on the other side. And also this father had been a guide to his daughter her whole life so he was never very far away- how is that for a father’s love!

OK, I meant this letter to be about the deceased dogs I have recently swapped stories with but that will have to wait untill the next letter.

My very best to all of you and as aways if you don’t want to recieve these letters just get back to me.
Gretchen Vogel
Choices Publishing

I have a presence on Facebook, and several other social networking sites that have links on the bottom left column of the http://HowSpiritWorks.com. So if you ever are super bored and want to find me on these other sites, have at it!


June letter:

Hi Everyone,

Recently I did a reading in which I did get some clues, but I never had the feeling that I was really with the deceased person I was looking for. I was ready to pack it is but the man who was my living client was so disappointed not to reach his wife that – as a last ditch effort- I led the widower in a visualization. His emotional energy was powerful enough to reach her; he was able to connect with his beloved deceased wife.

Although his wife had health problems and had been sick, her death came as a surprise to everyone- mostly to her. I knew that the husband and his wife had been spiritually active in life so it was interesting to me that she was not near the earth. (I have to confess I had anticipated an easy read.)

She showed/told her husband she was greeted by a grandmother who also provided the environment she had been in since death. Her parents came into the grandmother’s spiritual house for visits. She admitted that she could only get the faintest glimpses of earth life (which told me that she had transited the earth portal already) and she said she was struggling to create or envision her own environment, preferring to stay in the grandmother’s projected environment. She is staying in a loved and loving place that is a valuable and viable subjective experience. It seemed to comfort my client that his wife was where she was, and even though he had hoped for more, I felt he learned what he needed to know.

Since his guided visualization I have done several others. It is interesting which of my living clients accept this mental and seemingly imaginary experience as real and which are uncomfortable with this form if meditation. Men seem to do it easily, some women second guess themselves a lot.

I am excited about this form of guided meditation/visualization with my clients- not only does it give my clients a direct experience with their friends and relatives, but it it how they will see, feel and hear in the afterlife- a rehearsal if sorts for their own afterlife.

I was told a few decades ago by a guide that I walk the world with the same perceptions and abilities as I would have if I was dead. Although this is not something one puts on a resume, I have grown into the compliment. I think all of us can do some of what I do, like playing chopsticks versus playing a more complicated song on the piano- the only difference is practice. I think this mental ability is part of the human condition.

I am fairly certain I am going exclusively offer this form of work in the near future- perhaps I will have to call the readings something else.

Happy Summer Solstice,


May, 2009 letter:

Hi Friends,

So often my clients have a curious mixture of disbelief and amazement during the readings with their deceased loved ones.

I know the feeling.

In Choices In The Afterlife I write about my dear friend Dotte.  After Dotte died I asked her husband if I might have something small and personal of hers (that carried her energy). I have several presents from her and Ray, a teapot, a lamp, a set of knives…but I wanted something OF her. By the time I had asked this, her daughter and his daughter had already cleared out her things and I was not comfortable asking them to pick something out for me.

A few months later in a mental conversation with Dotte she said there was something of hers for me that was white, black and red. I related this to Ray and he couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. We both forgot about this for a while, and then Ray opened some dry cleaning he had in a closet. Low and behold there was a white shirt of hers, with a black and red logo on it from their business. Of course that is what Dotte was referring to.

OK, now this was personal! I always tell my clients that the deceased know what they want. I had never gone whining to Dotte in any of my meditations with her that I didn’t have something of hers, she just knew it, and made that happen for me.

I treasure that shirt, feeling the power and intelligence and closeness of my friend when I wear it- and also feel a curious mixture of of emotion, what my clients must feel, a mix of blessings and amazement – maybe that magic happens.  I have this touchstone, this shirt, this event with Dotte much like I help others have with their loved ones that are outside of physical.

So as I lead more and more people in meditations to communicate with their loved ones and they ask, how can I tell I am not just imagining it- well I know magic happens. We may not all get a shirt, but we all can receive gifts in one form or another, the smell of perfume, lights blinking, coins found, dreams that soothe. The deceased really can reach through the veil, really really.


April 2009 letter:

Dear Friends,

On Christmas Eve my husband and I went to a friend’s house for dinner. Our host was a man who’s parents had recently died, and the other guest was an old friend- I had known both her parents before they died.

At one point, I looked at my girlfriend and said: “It is so good to see you again”, which kind of spooked her as it was out of context with the conversation. But I felt like I was seeing her for the first time,. so enhanced was my vision and so detailed and vivid was the way I was seeing her face.

Later I found myself studying the host’s hands as he cooked our next course, and that feeling of super enhanced vision of my surroundings came over me once again. It me a while to realize what was happening.

It felt similar to what I had happened at my friend Dotte’s funeral in Florida a few years ago. Several times I felt Dotte looking out my eyes, as if she was “borrowing” my eyes and ears to be with her family in a more tangible way. You could say I was channeling her, but I like to think of it as simply sharing my physical body with a deceased loved one. At one point in her reception I went up to her father, hugged him and kissed him on the cheek, looking right into his eyes and said: Dotte loved you so very much, he looked back into my/her eyes and said that he loved her as well. I think we both knew something a bit different was occurring.

Since Christmas I have been spending several days a week with my 91 yr old Dad at his home as he was in a health crisis. My mother died in that house in 2003. I always feel her there. For the past month I have been having that enhanced sensory experience again, as if I am seeing the house and watching the sunset through her eyes- or she through mine. Also, I seemed to be acutely hearing the wild bird songs. I believe I was lending my eyes and ears to Mom.

I am finishing this letter April 4th. Yesterday was my Dad’s funeral. While I am willing to share my senses with him, he had quite a sweet tooth. Hopefully I won’t gain any weight!

Thanks and Godspeed,

PS, I’ve been told that the animals share like this, that from time to time one of my deceased horses will come into the horse I am riding to feel me once again. It is a nice thought that the pets we have lost get another chance to snuggle with us through our living pets.


March 2009 letter

Hi Everyone,

Since Choices In The Afterlife was published, many of my meditations for clients with the deceased have expanded my understanding of the afterlife, and I wanted to share these stories occasionally with you. If you don’t want to receive this please just let me know and I will delete your address from my list.

March 2009

Recently I read for the girlfriend of a 19 yr old young man who died of natural causes.

When I asked him who greeted him he said his Uncle did. My client, his girlfriend, said he had no deceased uncle and I suggested there might have been a (pre-deceased) mentor who felt like an uncle to him.

She said not that she knew of.

When I pressed J. again, he described his uncle as a seedy character who drank and smoked, but had a great heart, thin and in cowboy boots and jeans.

My client replied, yes that is his only uncle, but his uncle is not deceased.

J. explained: I was dead on the floor of my apartment and my uncle was the one who found me. When he tried to revive me and he realized I was dead, that is when I also realized I was dead. At that point I got up out of my body.

When I asked J. if he had seen anyone else, perhaps a grandparent he said no- no one else had come for him.

My client explained that J.’s mother and brother were adopted, he did not know who his father was, so there was no ancestor he knew of that pre-deceased him.

This is the first time I have ever heard of a living person fulfilling the role of the greeter. Greeters inform the deceased that they are now outside of physical, and are normally pre-deceased loved ones who help us out of physical.

I don’t know if the uncle will ever know the important role he played for his nephew. Then again, maybe he will as I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that J. will fulfill the role of greeter when his Uncle transitions. It works like that.

Thanks for reading this and I will be sending more stories.
Best wishes,
Gretchen Vogel
Choices Publishing
Keene, NH

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