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Astral Travel Workshop, Saturday, August 21

Pastor Robin Higgins of Plymouth Spiritualist Church explains bilocation: "Your spirit can travel when you sleep. It goes where your soul has to go in order to be with whoever needs you. You look different to [the person you're visiting], but you can be in two places at once." This was in response to an Astral Travel Workshop participant whose father reported having dinner with her while she was on vacation hundreds of miles away.

Astral travel is what non-spiritualists know as an "out-of-body experience." Apparently, when your physical body falls asleep, your astral body hovers above it, attached at the navel by The Silver Cord. The cord keeps the astral body connected to the physical, so that your soul won't get lost out in the ether. Spiritualists believe that you can train your astral body to travel during meditation: thus, the workshop.

The four other workshoppers and I lay on the floor under blankets (your physical body gets chilly when your astral body leaves it). Following Higgins' soothing suggestions, we scooted around the galaxy, visited loved ones, and then returned to the Church. One participant went to Mars. I only managed to relive a childhood birthday when my grandfather made me a dresser for doll clothes.

Alan Gugino has been visiting Plymouth Spiritualist Church for about a year.

What drew you to Spiritualism?

I grew up near Lilydale, so I'd had a lot of exposure to it. It was scary to me at the time, from a young person's point of view. But still, I'd seek out a medium every so often, to see how accurate they were. And they were always accurate.

Why did you start attending Plymouth Spiritualist Church?

The Church offers so much in learning, so you can grow as fast as you want here. I didn't know before that you could attend workshops like this one and strengthen your own skills instead of just going to a medium.

--- Meg Devine