“A skeptic is a person who would ask God for his ID card.” 
Edgar A. Shoaff (1904–1993), Writer, Satirist, Humorist
Hard core scientists continue to tell us we are nothing more than firing brain cells, genetics, hormones and a product of evolution. Weekly, I come across studies authored by materialistic researchers attempting to prove encounters with the spirit world are only the result of our biological chemistry or psychological difficulties. As a seasoned mental healthcare provider and experiencer of the spirit world I don’t believe such narrow minded presentation of information is ever in humanity’s best interest.
In 1997, I spent time in the home of famed near death experience researcher and bestselling author Dr. Raymond Moody. During my visit, I made visual contact with all of my deceased loved ones who had passed on to the next dimension. When they came to me, they did so as orbs of brilliant bluish, white light.
I accomplished this with the help of an ancient technique called “mirror gazing”. In ancient Greece, reflective objects or surfaces, such as mirrors, fresh water springs, still pools of water and bowls of liquid were considered gateways to the spiritual world. I’d been invited by the famed researcher to join a team of other investigators to explore the early practice of mirror gazing using a “psychomanteum”. Moody’s psychomanteums were blacked out rooms containing one, large mirror.
Below is my incredible experience with the psychomanteum. The account comes from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Remarkable World of Spiritually Transformative Experiences, Guildford, Surrey United Kingdom, White Crow, (2004).
What can I learn from this?
I met (Raymond) Moody in the early 1990s, right at the height of his involvement with the psychomanteum. He invited me to come to his home to investigate current-day mirror-gazing practices. Though I was extremely skeptical and did not have a great deal of faith in this ancient device, I decided to take Moody up on his offer. The following is a letter I wrote to a friend of mine, just days after my return home….
“Though words can never fully describe my experience, I will try to explain to you what I encountered. When I arrived at Moody’s, I immediately learned that on the previous night a professional woman, who had recently lost her husband, had had on interesting experience in the psychomanteum. She had made contact with her father, who had passed thirty years ago, and saw him in solid form. He told her to quit worrying about her husband, that he was just fine. Even after hearing her riveting account, I had decided I wasn’t going to be having any profound experiences that weekend.
“Three psychomanteums were set up around Moody’s very eccentric, 100-year-old house, Within these devices, one of which had been built into the house, the walls are completely black. Along with this, there is a mirror hanging on the wall at one end, while at the other, facing the mirror, is a chair. That’s it!
“During the first day of my visit, I spent about thirty minutes in two of the psychomanteums. Seated comfortably, I reflected on my relationships with those loved ones of mine who had passed, and as I had predicted, nothing out of the ordinary happened. From a historical perspective I found the psychomanteums interesting, but eventually decided enough was enough and spent the rest of the day chatting with other guests.
“That evening, I enjoyed a light supper with the rest of Moody’s visitors and had a delightful time talking with Dianne Arcangel, who has spent years researching both ancient and modern-day Psychomanteums.
“While eating dessert, I suddenly had a strong desire to put my plate down and go upstairs to the third psychomanteum. I had not been in this one. What was funny about this sudden “urge” was that during dinner, I made fun of this particular Psychomanteum. A rather obsessive engineer had built it.
“So, up the stairs I trudged, like a woman on a mission.
“Into the black box I went and sat down. Within just a few minutes of mirror gazing (just looking into a plain old mirror hanging on a wall, about four feet away) a mist, clouds, or blue-gray “something” started pouring out of the mirror. A swirl of mist touched me on my right wrist and I became frightened. At this point, Dianne Arcangel happened to be walking by, heard me gasp, and asked if she could help me. I responded with, “I’m glad you are there (just outside the psychomanteum) because it’s getting weird in here. I don’t know who’s visiting, but there are many, and I’m feeling very overwhelmed!” Something intuitively told me I was encountering many visitors from the other side. Dianne asked me if I wanted to continue. Hearing her voice calmed me down, and I said yes.
“After she left, I began saying to myself, “What can I learn from this?” over and over again. This mantra kept me grounded. Within moments, it was happening again. This time, the mirror first became black in color and then light. After this, white light tinged in blue started sprinkling down upon me. I wasn’t scared, and I could even hear Moody talking on the telephone in the next room. Then the sprinkle of light turned into balls of light. These balls of light started to get bigger, and it looked like they were trying to take form. One began to toke the shape of a head, and I thought to myself, “l wonder if that is my grandmother?”
“The next part of the experience is still hard to talk about. I get very emotional. One of these bluish-white orbs, not very large in size, hit me on my left side, near my heart area. Though it felt like a light push, it literally took my breath away. It was as if the light had gone through me. With this, I suddenly felt very peaceful, joyous, calm, and intensely loved. I also noticed the temperature in the psychomanteum was suddenly cooler.
“Then I saw more light around me and I was inundated with unlimited unconditional love. Because it felt as though things were happening rather quickly, I sensed urgency for contact from whoever was reaching out to me. With this awareness, very thin etheric streams of whirling white energy come toward my left side, touching my left arm, as if in on embrace. From this soft, cool touch, I felt pure amazement and joy.
“I will never know what would have happened next because one of Moody’s more aggressive visitors suddenly burst in and told me he wanted to try this psychomanteum. With this intrusion, the swirling, loving light immediately disappeared. For a moment, I just sat there stunned. Then, in a state of aw, love, confusion, grief, and numbness, I got out of the psychomanteum and started to talk to the other guest about my experience, but then silenced myself.
Outside the room, I once again found Dianne Arcangel. After seeing the look on my face, she led me to on outride porch where I began to cry. The encounter had overwhelmed me and I now found myself missing the loving touch I had received from the cool, swirling whitish-blue light.
“Out of a group of approximately ten or so participants, I was one of two who experienced a reunion. My rational mind wants to explain the experience away, but it can’t. I saw with my eyes and tactilely felt something beyond this physical plane of existence. During the encounter my intuition was certain, unshakable. The over pouring of gray misty clouds that initially floated toward me, the whitish-blue bolls or orbs of soft, love energy and light that entered me’ the unexpected drop in temperature inside the psychomanteum, and the streams of pure white, swirling thin light, energy that came toward me, encircling me, cannot be explained away. I am changed forever.
“When I have shared this dramatic experience with skeptics, I am met with a number of questions such as, “Had you been drinking?” “Were you on drugs?” “Was the mirror rigged?” “Who was flashing a flashlight at you?” and “Were you psychologically stressed at the time?”
“l don’t drink, nor do I do drugs, and I’m boringly sane” is the response I typically begin with. Having examined the mirrors hanging in the Psychomanteum, I can attest to the fact that there were no secret lights or hidden panels contained within them. They were typical mirrors.” 
For years I didn’t speak openly about this account and for good reason. In Raymond Moody’s book, Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife (2012), he talks about how his father, a well respected physician had him committed to a mental hospital for psychiatric issues. This occurred shortly after he had talked to his father about his work with the psychomanteum. The conversation obviously didn’t sit well with the older physician. Moody admitted he had mood swings but added these were later attributed to a thyroid condition, not his work with mirror gazing in a psychomanteum.
Being a visible self-help author I too was scared of being ridiculed. The concern was very real and based on past experience. When I spoke openly about the departing visions me and my family had encountered when my father-in-law had passed, a newspaper misconstrued my words and called me a New Age nut! Along with this several skeptics tracked down my home phone number and were telephoning in the middle of the night. A few other naysayers emailed me continuously and chastised me for leading the grieving astray by talking about afterlife encounters. Concerned for my family, I became more private about my experiences for several years. Eventually was able to throw caution to the wind and go public again in 2004.
Though I was cautious about talking openly about what I saw and felt in Moody’s psychomanteum, I also knew my experiences weren’t unique. As a matter of fact, this meeting with departed loved ones prepared me for similar experiences to come.
If you have had a near death experience, after death communication, departing vision, premonition of things to come, visions of the afterlife or visitations from deceased loved ones, please know you can always contact me for more information. You are not alone.
1 – Brainy Quote, Web.
2 – Wills-Brandon, Carla. A Glimpse of Heaven: The Remarkable World of Spiritually Transformative Experiences. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2004. 77-81.
Carla Wills-Brandon, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, is also the author of 13 published books discussing topics ranging from;
• Food disorders
• Holistic Health
• Dealing with teens, children of trauma, addiction
• Healthy intimacy and sexuality
• Sexual healing
• Trauma resolution and PTSD
• Recovery from grief, loss and death,
• Afterlife research and spirituality
• The Departing Visions of the dying
One of her published books,
Learning to Say No: Establishing Healthy Boundaries was a “Publishers Weekly Best Seller. The author has lectured across the U.S. and U.K., and has appeared on numerous national radio and television programs, such as Geraldo Rivera, Sally Jesse Raphael, Montel Williams, Coast To Coast Radio Show with Art Bell and George Noory, Uri Geller’s Coast To Coast Radio Show and Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher. Wills-Brandon has also appeared on several programs with her husband, Licensed Clinical Psychologist Michael Brandon, PhD.
A Glimpse Heaven is published by White Crow Books and is available from Amazon and other online bookstores.