Friday, June 9, 2017


Because of I have had some very personal but intriguing psychic experiences, which I write about in my book, I am always on the lookout for what other people are talking about in the psychic field. One of the popular topics these days is the idea of soul plans and soul groups. This view of life as I understand it is that we picked the incidents in our life as a way to develop our soul qualities and virtues. The idea, very generally, is that we are in the physical plane to learn in a kind of, if you will pardon my theatrical metaphor, school for scoundrels. 

This interpretation of life seems to me to be the ultimate in egotistical grandiosity. I cannot accept the idea that we and our soul groups chose to experience disasters, disease and horrific tragedies simply to serve as an education, or, as Robert Schwartz seems to imply with his white soul in a white room metaphor, to differentiate our soul and make it perceptible. What a very cruel and callous universe that would lead one to accept. 

It seems to me and it is also what has been hinted at by my own experiences with my husband's communications from the afterlife, that we are here as it says in the Lord's Prayer: to participate in some way, which only faith can give us assurance of, in God's "kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." We are obviously a long way from things on earth being done as they are in heaven, but that is the cross we must pick up and bear, aiming toward God's kingdom here on earth which we can help accomplish only by loving God to the best of our understanding. 

But, I am not calling into question the veracity of what Robert Schwartz or many other psychics feel they have seen on the other side. I'm sure what they see is true, but I feel their interpretation of their visions is limited by their own understanding of who they are and of God.

In life, we all have knowledge that gives us special insight into the areas we know about. A car mechanic can look at an engine, tinker a bit, and know what's wrong with it. But a car mechanic doesn't know how to speak French, unless he's studied it. Psychics can see into the world of spirit and tell us things they see there, but they may not have an understanding of people and life that a psychologist, a novelist, or a social worker might have. 

Having studied a bit of chemistry, I can assure you chemistry is extremely complex, and I imagine humanity in all its glory and horror is at least as complicated as chemistry, and very likely far more intricate. 

Soul plan? Agree to have your head cut off? We are here, we want to live, even if we don't always love our life or life in general. Our life is the ultimate mystery and a gift from and perhaps to God.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


The very first time I ever consulted a professional psychic, I was long past the parlor trick stage of seriousness. The medium did not have to come up with "things there was no way they could have known by googling me" type of information to prove they weren't faking it. I already knew that I could and often did see the future, and that my dead husband as well as other members of my family were visiting me and communicating with me. I had tried for years to disprove what was happening, but at last accepted those experiences as true.
Also, I took communications from the other side VERY seriously. Frankly, they scared me to death, metaphorically, of course. The first time I called a psychic was because I was about to initiate a move across country and was looking for some support or insight about that decision. A friend had a psychic she occasionally spoke to so I called her. The session was all very vague and rambling, but she certainly got the message that I belonged in Washington State. I felt reassured.
Another unusual feature of that session was that it showed me that when I consult a medium, it is emotionally exhausting. It's as if I've stuck my soul into an electric socket. After this session and all the others, but one, I have had to lie down and sleep for several hours. Mediums say that the receptivity of the sitter makes no difference in their ability to read the spirits, and I believe them. I think my response is some peculiar feature of how my psychic ability works. I have heard that other people get confused and tired when they are being read by psychics, so it's not that unusual. But the first time it happened, it was as if I'd just gotten off the scariest ride at the boardwalk and was so dizzy and disoriented that I had to lie down and recover.
The second time I set up a session with a medium was the only time I didn't get that feeling, and I now believe I know why. This was an in person session with a medium who was very into Egyptian mystic things. When I arrived at her house, she had already been contacted by someone passed over who was related to me. It was a person who I would NEVER have contacted for any reason, a person who everyone in the family felt safer because that person was dead and buried. So, this person coming through was a disturbing shock. And this woman also did something where she was able to get into my mind just briefly showing me a symbol of herself as a bird by an open window. I think she was doing magic of some sort, which I knew nothing about and still don't. But, when I was with her, I never got that soul in the socket feeling. I think I was being protected from her because she was dangerous to me, somehow. Needless to say, I never contacted her again.
I took several courses in spiritual growth at the Simply Spirit Center with Jill Miller, who is a lovely, gentle clairvoyant and healer. I did this because I couldn't imagine how this psychic stuff could possibly work or be taught and was curious. I went to an open house and the reader there was instantly contacted by a man whose name she said was Ron. I had no idea who it could be. Couldn't remember anyone named Ron. Then suddenly I said, Ron Silver? Yes. I had studied acting with him and he was my friend for many years. Then he got married to his live in and I got married to mine, and we had lots of evenings together as couples. But when he appeared to the medium, completely unexpectedly, I suddenly realized that studying about spiritual things with a diverse group of interested people would be much like the interesting times we'd shared studying acting together: intense, psychological, freeing and meeting interesting people. He had died of the same thing Tom died of, at the same hospital just months before Tom passed away. In fact, they had done a scene together in a movie just before they both were diagnosed with inoperable esophageal cancer. Very strange how our lives crossed paths so many times, without ever really getting any closer to each other.
At any rate, I loved studying with Jill and learning about chakras. Meditating is very relaxing, energy massages are wonderful and it was a terrific learning experience. I have the greatest respect for Jill Miller who is a very intelligent, gifted person in every way. My big proof, which is kind of funny, but sometimes it's the small things that are more convincing than the big stuff, occurred in Jill's class on developing your psychic powers. We got in touch with our psychic vision by meditating, and when we had cleansed our energy and connected the earth energy to the universal spirit energy, we would use our sixth chakra in the forehead to visualize a movie screen, ask a question and let a rose appear. Then we were to interpret the rose for the information that the universe was giving us.
I know this all sounds ridiculous, but hang in there with me, because it was fascinating the way the universe really did answer. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, usually a rose of some sort would appear. So we were assigned partners to do an exercise where they asked a question and we looked at our rose to see what kind of answer we got. My partner was a lady with a terrific sense of humor, a real no nonsense, down to earth person, the last person in the world you'd expect to be in a class for psychics. I prepared myself, got ready for the rose to appear, and she asked her question. She said tell me about my foot. I told you she was funny. So gradually this rose appears. I struggle with it. The stem was a bit twisted, the rose drooped a bit, but looked pretty healthy. I told her all this. She said she'd had some kind of operation on her foot. I felt like a failure for not getting anything more. So I said I'm not getting much and the darn rose won't come into the middle of the screen, it just stays on the right. She laughed and said it's my right foot. So, I did get one very important fact about her foot. I didn't interpret it correctly, but it had been literally staring me in the face.
I've read a million books on psychic's and mediums. I almost always learn something from each book. While there are many interesting similarities, each psychic and medium is very different, so they bring different insights to us from the world of spirit as they see it. In the way that no two novelists have the same vision of the world they write about, no two psychics see the spirit world in the same way. And none of their visions is the definitive vision. This is why I stick to Christianity. The vision of the world that Jesus had seems to me the most tested and reliable vision, but there have been as many artistic representations of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, God, the Holy Spirit as there are psychic's and mediums' visions of the afterlife, so I see that as a win/win situation. Enjoy the loving visions of your fellow seekers of every spiritual persuasion, religion and tradition. Except for the pure magic stuff. That scares me.

My Christianity is derived from Julian of Norwich. I don't believe there is any wrath in God. I believe by sinning, we find self-knowledge and the way to God. I believe sin is caused by ignorance and naivety. I believe God has sent us here, but that we fell down in a sort of a deep trench, as Julian saw it in her vision, and we are bruised and find it hard to get back to God. I believe God loves us and will glorify us for all that we suffer here. I think he appreciates our love of him more than we can understand in this life. I believe Jesus will save us all. "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Miracle of the loaves and fishes painting by
Jaime Lynne Dillon

I’m sure we all experience insights when we pray. I’m sharing mine because it relates to my book, and I think it might be heartening to other writers and artists. Working as a writer is dark and lonely work. I heard it once described as heavy lifting while sitting. Yes, it seems like that sometimes. Now, I am in the process of promoting my books, which is also lonely work.

The principle problem is to establish yourself as particular voice that is worth listening to, which is similar to a new term: branding. I have been searching blogs, looking for places where I might find the kind of people who would be interested in my book. I have tried to clarify who I am on my Marcy Casterline blog. But it is a daunting task. There are millions of blogs out there. It’s very time consuming and I was becoming discouraged. What did I have to offer these blogs?

This is where I was one night when I decided to make a personal appeal to Jesus. Understand, I am not one of those people who talks about Jesus like I just got off the phone with him. No. Religion seems too personal to discuss in such a familiar way in casual conversations. However, I was feeling so low and so lonely that I needed to call on Jesus personally just to feel that some actual human being would keep me company in my solitary endeavor.

And he was right there. His appearance was brief, but kindly. And he showed me a vision. I saw a mosaic of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. I think it was depicted as a mosaic so that I wouldn’t just think I was seeing fish and bread. In the mosaic, the loaves and fishes were pouring out of a small basket. But, in a flash, I understood. I had been looking at my small basket and seeing only two fish and a couple of loaves of bread, which seemed way too little substance to feed the many blogs that I would have to take care of to get attention for my book. But Jesus was telling me to have faith and I would find that my basket would provide me with plenty.

I felt the lesson was that if you have faith, you will be rewarded with abundance of what you need. I hope this message encourages all artists in their work. You may feel that your basket barely has enough to feed yourself, but if you have faith in your work, the fish and bread will keep flowing for you.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


“After Life” is a wonderful, enthralling and a constantly astonishing book by the psychic medium John Edward, who I’m sure you’re all familiar with. He is often referred to as a psychic warrior because he was the first in the USA to bring psychic mediumship to television viewers on his show “Crossing Over”. He constantly challenged himself to communicate with dead relatives live on television, confounding the skeptics again and again. It’s impossible to watch him bring through private details from people on the other side to their loved ones in the audience and remain an unbeliever. Many have tried unsuccessfully to unmask some sort of tricks to explain his insights, but as public and out front as John has been, that proved impossible. John Edward is a gifted medium and anybody who says different is simply wrong.
I learned so much about communication with the spirit world from watching John on television and Youtube. It was watching him on Youtube where I found out that, as a child, he and his grandmother had been huge fans of the “Guiding Light,” the soap opera on which my husband, Tom O’Rourke, starred as Justin Marler for seven years. As a matter of fact, John even uses a picture of a lighthouse, the symbol for the “Guiding Light”, for his new “Evolve” series. One of the things that I have learned from mediums and my own psychic experiences is that coincidences are very meaningful, and this was a coincidence that startled me enough that I felt I had to get to know John Edward even better, so I bought his book “After Life”.
It’s a terrific book, full of very interesting stories about how our loved ones are watching over us. It was when I read this book that I learned John’s son is named Justin, which is the character Tom played on “Guiding Light.” I don’t know if John watched the show when Justin Marler was a doctor in Springfield, but this is another coincidence that I knew had personal meaning for me.
When I reached the chapter where John is reading a young woman whose mother wanted to communicate with her from the other side, I found validation of my theory about my husband’s dual personality or divided soul.
Here is part of John’s reading about this phenomenon:
“The connection is intense. And the emotion that comes up around this feels split, as if there’s a dual type of relationship, where two people are within one in some ways. And I feel like it’s something that has unfinished business attached to it.”
“Her mother revealed the abuse she’d endured growing up, which Mia acknowledged. Linked to that abuse was Cyrinda’s perception of herself as a “dual personality”.
“…so there are two personalities. She left that other person behind.”
Now it was clear to me why I’d been led to John Edward. That was exactly the conclusion I came to about Tom’s personality. He also was an abused child, and he also had a dual personality with unfinished business attached to it and an unhappy personality that he had left behind.
What I believe Tom suffered from was a mental complex that involved women and sex. I think the worst thing about childhood abuse is that it occurs when the child is still developing, so that the damage done is so deep it warps the most basic instinctual behaviors, especially sex and love. This makes it almost impossible for the grown person recognize those self-destructive behaviors as aberrations from their normal self. Tom actually evolved a secret narrative to explain all his sexual behavior.
Here’s what Jung wrote about mental complexes. “It is the image of a certain psychic situation which is strongly accentuated emotionally and is, moreover, incompatible with the habitual attitude of consciousness. This image has a powerful inner coherence, it has its own wholeness and, in addition, a relatively high degree of autonomy, so that it is subject to the control of the conscious mind to only a limited extent, and therefore behaves like an animated foreign body in the sphere of consciousness….The complex must therefore be a psychic factor which, in terms of energy, possesses a value that sometimes exceeds that of our conscious intentions, otherwise such disruptions of the conscious order would not be possible at all.”
Yes, when I looked back at my marriage to Tom, it became evident that he had some sort of complex with regards to women in power at his jobs.
And I have many times encountered two very different Tom’s on the other side, but never in the same dream, which is why I believe they are now separate. One Tom is loving and helpful, the other tells me he doesn’t love me and chases after other women.
John Edward himself has a couple of more coincidental parallels with my husband. Not only were both their lives influenced by the “Guiding Light”, but both had very difficult relationships with their fathers. John Edward dropped his father’s last name and uses his middle name as his last name. And I will confess now, for the first time, that Tom also dropped his father’s name when he became a professional actor and later legally changed it. Of course, actors frequently change their names, but Tom did it because to even hear his father’s name spoken was a punishment to him. He certainly did not want to dignify the name of a man he hated with the fruits of his success.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


I've watched many near death videos where they talk about being on the other side and being pure spirit, without a physical body. I'm sure they are reporting what they experienced accurately, but isn't it possible that they don't have a physical body on the other side because they are going to return to their physical body on earth? Near Death experiencers are sent back to earth to finish their tasks here, so perhaps they don't fully transition. Just a theory.

I have had physical, bodily contact twice with people who have passed over. The first time, as I describe in my book, occurred when I was furious at my husband for being a cheater and was about to throw his ashes into the trash. My late husband visited me in a very loving physical way that lessened my fury at him and saved me from committing what was probably a sacrilege.

The second time was when a recently deceased, very close friend visited me in a lucid dream. She was a woman who'd gone to Mass every single morning of her life. When she appeared in the dream, she looked beautiful and radiant in a glowing white sweater and slacks, the style she always wore, but, of course, the radiant white was indescribable. She smiled at me and as she said, "I still have a body," she reached out and touched my hand instantly waking me up with a very distinct sense of my hand just having been touched.

I wrote my good friend, her husband, because I thought this was a message for him, to validate that she was visiting him and he had probably felt it, but been unsure. That was partly true. But the message turned out to be for her daughter. It seems her grandson was graduating from high school at the time. There was a spare bedroom that her mother usually slept in when she visited, but wasn't used as often now. Her daughter cleaned the room herself and was sure she'd arranged her magazines chronologically, but every time she did it, she'd come back and find the old magazine with the article on motherhood on top of the pile. She was sure that it was a message from her mom to let her know she was going to be around for her grandson's graduation. Her mom had visited me to make sure her daughter would believe she had a body with hands that could move magazines, no matter how often her neatnik daughter rearranged them. She knew her daughter would not fail to notice this sign from her mom.

Actually, now that I think of it, both mother and daughter were and are VERY NEAT people. You could move whole piles of magazines at my house and no one, certainly not myself, would ever notice.

So I'd have to say that at least some people, some of the time certainly in my experience have physical bodies of some kind on the other side that can interact with our physical world.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


I'm not so young anymore, I'm alone and my marriage was in many ways a tragedy that will always break my heart. It's often very perplexing and upsetting to try to live with and understand what was wrong with my husband. I can't even think of his name the same way as I used to. Tom. How I loved that name, so simple, so straightforward, so manly. But now that name seems to have fallen down on itself and become smudged and indistinct.

Then, when I'm feeling low, I'll remember some little thing he did, like set up the coffee machine for me the night before so all I had to do was press the button for my coffee before I left for work. He always left a love letter full of encouragement and telling me how much he loved me. It would be written on oversize legal yellow paper and signed with long rows of x's for kisses and o's for hugs.

And that memory means so much, now. Not that I am deceived anymore about what this meant. I'm sure there was a heaping helping of guilt in this letter. He had spent the night smoking and drinking by himself, festering in his unhappiness and frustration. But I know that those letters came from his heart. It means so much to have a tangible memory that there were moments when his heart did turn toward me, when he longed for us to be happy.

Another great help to keeping my spirits up is seeing that others have suffered from similar problems. I recently watched a production of "The Winter's Tale" by Shakespeare, solely because I am taking the time to get to know old Will better. Strangely enough, "The Winter's Tale" described almost exactly the problem that beset my husband. Fascinating and very reassuring to see in a classical and widely performed play the very same type of mental aberration that my husband suffered from.

"The Winter's Tale" is a tragic romance and a tale. It seems to me that romantic stories are often psychologically symbolic rather than purely stories of individual characters interacting. And when the word tale is involved, it is almost certain to be the story of one person's psychological dilemma. Fantastic things can happen in the world of a tale, like a woman coming back from the dead. That's because we can kill people and turn them to stone in our minds. So these stories are about how we perceive things in our minds. When someone comes back from the dead, it's a clue that we aren't talking about the real world.

The similarity to my marriage is that the hero in this story, King Leontes, suddenly is gripped by a freakish and groundless jealousy in which he believes his wife and his best friend have committed adultery. Though there is no evidence of adultery at all, and no one in the King's court believes the charge, he orders his wife tried and killed, declaring their new baby a bastard.

His wife's transgressions are all in his mind, but because he is king, as we all are of our own worlds, no one can stop him from his grave injustice.

In my own case, my husband's sudden freakish running away from his marriage, even after he was married, is so similar to the king in "The Winter's Tale" that I felt very reassured in my understanding and acceptance of my tragic marriage. No explanation is given as to why he suddenly believes his wife to have betrayed him. Eventually, he realizes the great wrong he has done and miraculously his wife is brought back to life, from being a statue, or perhaps she's just been hiding for sixteen years.

This tale is also similar to the Greek myth of Alcestis, where a king earns a wife only with the help of the Gods, that is, by cheating. He forgets to give thanks to Artemis, so on his wedding night, he finds his bed full of snakes. You don't have to be Freud to know that a bed full of snakes indicates a sexual problem. He should die from the snakes, but is saved by another God for whom he has done a favor.

However, someone must die in his place. His elderly parents refuse, so his wife, Alcestis, goes to the underworld in his place. It's interesting that as a result of losing her, which he soon learns to regret very greatly, he rejects his parents as selfish, because they are old and won't die for him. It seems that a man must stand up to his parents, not necessarily in real life, but to the vestiges of their upbringing that still have sway over who he is. He must reject the selfish acts of his parents and their damaging influence, if he is to be able to properly love a woman.

Of course, the great Herakles arrives. He is an old friend of the king's and wrestles Alcestis from the grip of death, bringing her back to her king for a happy ending. Tales, fairy tales and romances are the stories of our hidden mental battles as we strive to understand ourselves and to be happy, balanced individuals. Usually, no matter if there is a hero or a heroine, tales are applicable to both sexes.

My own tale didn't have a happy ending.... in this life. But I have faith. Those coffee letters give me hope that my king is waiting for me somewhere.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Such an Appetite for Life

This was Tom's California coup, a postal jeep converted to hot rod by a real California Gear Head. It had a 327 Chevy Engine, Corvette distributor, Engle racing Cams, TRW pistons and rings, Offenhauser head, 350 Chevy Turbo distributor, Eagle Headers, and Oversize Dune buggy Tires. Listen to that throaty engine rumble. Driving the jeep was definitely a great California experience.


Athens, Greece: our dream come true trip. I was eagerly waiting for Tom to arrive from New York, so we could catch a shuttle flight back to Crete, where I’d spent two weeks shooting photos for a German fashion catalogue. But the domestic part of the airport was more like an open-air bazaar than an airport lounge. I was surrounded by Greek men who were deeply tanned, outdoor-hardened, and wearing homespun shirts, huge boots with thick wooden soles, and those familiar Greek fishermen’s caps above their stubbly faces. Their carry-on luggage consisted of string wrapped boxes and live chickens in cages. Back in the 1970’s, Crete was still very primitive and undeveloped. At last, Tom sauntered out of customs, wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt, unbuttoned halfway down his chest, and big smile. He was always like that, living life to the fullest, as if the world was his oyster. And I loved him for it. I was the worrywart type.

He grabbed me in his arms and planted a long, passionate, hello kiss on my lips. Then, with an amused glance at the rough-hewn Greeks and their chickens, in his best Dimitri Tiomkin imitation, he said, “We take the men and the guns, and we go to the mountains.” I laughed, because that really was what Crete was like. When the mountain men tried to be waiters and serve our crew of photographers and models, they stared us down, daring us to give them our order. We all just kept our heads down and ate whatever they brought.

When we landed on Crete, I told Tom that I’d had to rent an expensive sedan to drive around the island, because the only other vehicles were small, Japanese jeeps. “A jeep?” he exclaimed, his interest piqued, and I knew I was in trouble. But he was right. That little tin can jeep shivered and shook its way up and down the mountains of Crete with nothing over our heads but the Mediterranean blue sky. We basked in the glory of Ancient Greece as we bounced among the sunbaked ruins of a mythical civilization long gone.

Between the grilled octopus and the ouzo, we snaked our way up to the remains of temples that had been ancient when Christ literally was a corporal; all the while, Tom was doing comedy riffs in his sandal saga, dubbed movie voice, keeping me in stiches. “Let him haul stone in Lato! Maybe that will loosen his tongue.” Yes, he was an actor, a born ham.

Careening up and down dusty roads through the sparsely settled mountains, we stumbled into a small, rustic village and got out to stretch our legs. A weathered bandit of a fellow, with a rooster wandering by his table, offered Tom some homemade raki, exactly the alcoholic concoction our hotel keeper had sternly warned us against. Ever the bold rascal, Tom eagerly sat down to sip the nectar of the gods and filled my glass, too. That home brew raki was potent, alright. We sat at that table for a long time with our Greek friend, solving all the world’s problems until the raki ran out. Tom felt right at home on wild, untamed Crete.

Really, he was such a fun person to be around and had such an appetite for life, that you could forgive him everything. And I have, I guess. However, I think, when he got to the other side, it turned out that he was the one who couldn’t forgive himself for what he’d done to his life, to me, and to our marriage.