SPIRIT GUIDES Part III: Maurice de la Tour

Coral Polge was born in London in 1924. Most mediums communicate with the spirit world through thought messages, but Coral combined her artistic talent and psychic gift into a technique that reached the spirit world through drawings

Coral began her journey as a psychic artist while meeting with a small group of individuals who were trying to improve their psychic talents. She worked with several spirit artists who helped her improve her skills until she became one of the most renown psychic artists of her time.

One of her guides was a spirit named Giovanni Masaccio who said he was from Italy. After some research Coral found a Tommaso (another version of Masaccio) from San Giovanni who lived in Italy in the early 1400s. Masaccio was one of several guides who returned over the years to help guide Coral’s hand. “In the early days,” she said. “there was a concentration on teaching me to use pastels, and coaching me in anatomy and the guides were endeavoring to balance three aspects—the artistic or material channel, the psychic, and the spiritual.”

Her most helpful spirit guide was a French pastel artist named Maurice de la Tour. He first appeared in the 1960s and called himself only Maurice. He didn’t help Coral at first, but was identified by other mediums as a Frenchman, dressed in 18th century clothing with lace ruffles, and wearing a wig. Coral managed to make a sketch of him, but she wouldn’t know who Maurice was until later.

During a reading, Maurice communicated with Coral’s husband, telling her husband more about his life and that he had been helping Coral with her artistry. Coral accidently came across a book with the self-portrait of a French artist. She discovered his name was Maurice de la Tour. When they found Maurice’s autobiography, many of the facts he had given her husband were confirmed.

Maurice was a stickler when it came to Coral’s work. In her book, Living Images, Coral said, “Even now, Maurice de la Tour shows a great sense of frustration when I am unable to produce the quality of line or colour he has in mind.”



Gordon Higginson trained from a very early age to be a platform medium and began working in public at the age of 12.  He was known for the accuracy of his platform readings which often included full names, addresses and telephone numbers.  He demonstrated at many of the largest venues in the England and left behind many recordings.

 As a trance medium, Higginson had several spiritual guides.  His childhood friend, Cuckoo, and Irish guide, Paddy, were humorous.  Light only appeared once a year, usually during Christmas. His main guide, Choo Chow, visited often and provided spiritual words of wisdom.

During a 1988 trance, Choo Chow was recorded speaking through Higginson during an address. He began with a blessing from the spirit world and said there was a host of souls gathered there. “Those who are your family, your friends and those who have been drawn to you from our world because of the great bond of love between sides.”

Choo Chow stressed that unity between the earthly plane and spiritual word was important. “Put aside the things that may come between us,” he said. “As we gain life from the same father, we are one. We have the same opportunities and destinies.” He said that if we accept help from the spirit world, we will be filled with the great power that links souls together. “You will be filled to overflowing with the power of pure life.”

Choo Chow stated that the “great mind” or “creative force” had set things in motion so that we could experience the earthy plane for ourselves. But each of us has a responsibility while we are here. “You must play your part,” he said. He spoke of uniting the nations of the world. He said there would be “many hardships and pain to bear and that times of uncertainty will smother the earth.” Our job is to unite, not divide.

The guide said that the great minds of earth were linked with the great minds of the spirit world. He asked all of us to “seek deep for the heaven within you.” He also said that young souls were waiting to come to earth. It was our responsibility to ready things for them, so they could begin change when they arrived.

“There is love for you,” Choo Chow said. “We met in this way this time, but we have met many times before.” He stressed that he was there to bring a message of hope, “a sea of hope.” He instructed us to find the power in our own being and let wisdom be our guide.

At the end, he wanted us all to understand: “I come to you with a message of love, not for you to be afraid, but to know.”


Some of Higginson’s audio recordings can be found here: http://www.gordonhigginson.co.uk/audio-recordings/4532866323

SPIRIT GUIDES Part I: Silver Birch

The third principle of Spiritualism is The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels. “The Ministry of Angels brings enhanced wisdom to enlighten the individual, society and the world in which we live.”

Spirit guides are some of the angels that contact us through mediums. Because their instruction can be enlightening, I want to take a few blogs to discuss some of the more noteworthy spirit guides of the past.

Silver Birch was a spirit guide who spoke through Maurice Barbanell (1902-1981). Barbanell was the founder and editor of the Psychic News of London. Silver Birch’s teachings became popular in the late 1930s and resulted in the publication of nine books documenting his communications.

Silver Birch took on the identity of a Native American and he said he was only acting as translator. “I am but a humble servant,” he said. “an interpreter for those who have sent me to expound forgotten laws that must be revived as part of the new world that is gradually dawning. Think of me always as a mouthpiece. I represent the voice of the spirit that seeks to make its presence felt in your world and which is succeeding in increasing measure.” His described a group of communicators who harmonized their minds to create the messages that he communicated to Barbanell.

Silver Birch gave few details about his own earthy existence, but mentioned that his last lifetime occurred about 3,000 years earlier. While on earth, he said he worshiped many gods, but had learned in the spirit world that “there is only one Great Spirit, who has provided eternal laws for the control of every phase of life throughout the boundless universe.”

Barbanell’s book, Thou Shall Be Comforted, discusses Silver Birch’s teachings on existence after physical death. When we pass on, he said that we do not enter Heaven through “pearly gates”, neither do we descend to Hell through lakes of “fire and brimstone”. The person who has died will be the same individual as they were in life, except that they will have no physical body. The spirit body is a replica of the physical one, but without any of its physical imperfections.

Silver Birch made it clear that the spirit world is not “dreamy or nebulous.” Spirits are busy with activities just as they are in the physical world. In the spirit world, the mental is real and the physical is a shadow. For example, when one dreams, things seem real at the time. The dream only becomes ethereal when the person wakes up. It is the viewpoint that makes the difference. He also said that the spirit world isn’t a separate place. It is all around us, intermingling with the physical world.

When one arrives in the spirit world, the person meets those who have preceded him. Families and friends are reunited most of the time, but because of the law of attraction, only those of similar spiritual qualities will meet on the same plane. Married couples or family members who held no real love for each other will not be together in the spirit world.

The spiritual world may take on the trappings of physical existence, including homes, clothing and food. Silver Birch said this is a habit from our physical make-up. The houses are not made of bricks and mortar, but constructed out of thought. Desire for food is a mental craving and a spirit can maintain the illusion if it requires it. People are free to express their talents, with no physical limitations. People also speak the same language – thought. Those thoughts are never hidden and lying is impossible.

After a person passes into the spirit world, he naturally gravitates to the correct spiritual sphere according to the life lived and the character evolved on the earthly plane. A person cannot occupy a higher sphere than the spiritual status he has reached, but spirits can evolve over time to reach higher spheres.

Reference: They Shall Be Comforted by Maurice Barbanell and Silver Birch


“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has” (Epictetus)

Ancient philosopher, Epictetus, knew that gratitude puts everything into perspective. It enables us to see the blessings around us. The more we give thanks, the more things we find to be grateful for.

Modern science agrees with Epictetus. Studies have revealed that people who write letters of gratitude feel fewer symptoms of depression and feel happier and more satisfied with life overall. People who take time to focus on the positive gestures of their partners are more connected and satisfied in their relationship. People who practice gratitude for 21 days or more find their mental health and wellbeing increases. Gratitude also leads to better sleep and more energy.

Of course, gratitude takes practice. For many of us, we must create an attitude of gratitude one day at a time. In this season of thanks and giving, try this 12-day trial of being grateful to put yourself on a path of thankfulness.

Day 1: During a meal, be thankful for the food by relishing each bite with all your senses.

Day 2: To thank a business for their good service, recommend it to your friends.

Day 3: Appreciate natures gifts by incorporating some of them into your home decor.

Day 4: Sit with your pets and let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life.

Day 5: Select something you use every day and acknowledge how it helps you.

Day 6: Give thanks for peace and all the peacemakers in your life.

Day 7: Write a letter or email of appreciation to someone who has inspired.

Day 8: Express your gratitude to a good friend by giving them a small token.

Day 9: Donate to a charity with a note of your appreciation.

Day 10: Do a chore or run an errand for a neighbor.

Day 11: Thank your spouse or significant other for being in your life.

Day 12: Give thanks for your good health when you rise in the morning.



This time of year, as Thanksgiving approaches, many of us are told to be grateful. What does Spiritualism teach us?

Spiritualism has traditionally focused on the belief that spirits can communicate with the living through a medium. Emanuel Swedenborg was one of the first to use the term in 1796. He believed that a vital component within living beings was supernatural and divine.

As Spiritualism developed, many believers and mediums concentrated on the communication aspect of the belief. Mediums did not take to the podium to preach morality and religious practices. Instead, they acted as conduits between the spiritual realm to the physical world. Because of this, there are few teachings from them about ways to deal with life.

In Spiritualism, the Seven Principles do include Personal Responsibility. We are to make decisions throughout our lives as we see fit. What each of us makes of our life is our choice. No one can replace or override that right. No other person or influence can correct our wrong doings.

Although not part of Spiritualism doctrine, gratitude can be seen as part of our responsibility in life.

Swedenborg mentioned in his writings the importance of thanksgiving and gratitude. “The Lord does, indeed, require humility, worship, thanksgiving, and many other things from us,” he said. “This might seem like repayment, so that the Lord’s gifts do not seem to be free. But the Lord does not require these things for his own sake. . . . Rather, they are required for our sake. If we are humble, we can accept goodness from the Lord, since we have been separated from selfishness and the evil things that go with it, which stand in the way of our accepting the Lord’s goodness. This is why the Lord desires a state of humility in us for our own sake: because when we are in this state, the Lord can flow into us with heavenly goodness. The same is true of worship and thanksgiving. (Arcana Coelestia #5957)”

When we are grateful, we recognize that we are the recipient of many gifts. The most basic gift is life itself. Swedenborg said that the more open our heart is, the fuller of life we are.

It is often easy to be grateful when things are going our way. But what do we do when things get tough? We must still strive to be grateful. An “attitude of gratitude” will make the difference between a life of fulfillment or one of emptiness. Psychological research is showing that grateful people tend to have higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression.

Being grateful is more than saying you are thankful. Instead, it is a positive feeling towards someone who has given to you, as well as a desire to do something good in return. I invite you to cultivate gratefulness as your basic attitude toward life. It will make the difference between just going through the motions and really being alive.


Spiritism is defined as “a progressive body of knowledge which studies the nature, origin and destiny of spirits as well as their physical relationship to the world.”

Allan Kardec was born Léon-Dénizarth-Hippolyte Rivailwas at Lyons in 1804, the member of an old family of Bourg-en-Bresse. His father and grandfather were barristers of good standing and high character. Kardec was educated at the Institution of Pestalozzi, at Yverdun (Canton de Vaud). He had a passion for teaching, and devoted himself to helping his fellow students by the age of 14. He was most interested in botany and spent much of his time in the mountains in search of specimens for his herbarium.

After finishing at Yverdun, he returned to Lyons. Instead of pursuing law, he purchased a school for boys where he offered courses in Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy and Astronomy. He published many educational books in the 1830s and 40s and was a member of several learned societies.

His interest in science lead to investigations into magnetism, trance, clairvoyance and other psychic phenomena. When table-turning became popular in the 1850s, he became interested in the nature of the “spiritist” phenomena. A friend of his had two daughters who we mediums. Usually their messages were gay and lively. But when Kardec attended their seances, the conversation grew serious. He was told that “spirits of a much higher order than those who habitually communicated through the two young mediums came expressly for him, and would continue to do so, in order to enable him to fulfill an important religious mission.”

He asked the mediums to meet with him twice a week so he could question the spirits. The girls consented, and brought forth answers from the spirit world through table-rapping and planchette-writing. The replies, which were little understood by the mediums, continued for two years and became the basis for Kardec’s spiritist theory.

Kardec said to his wife, “It is a most curious thing! My conversations with the invisible intelligences have completely revolutionized my ideas and convictions.”

The spirits instructed him to write a book and publish under the pseudonym, Allan Kardec.  It was entitled: Le Livre des Esprits (The Spirits’ Book). When published in 1857, it became very popular, making converts not only in France, but all over the Continent. The name of Allan Kardec became a household word.

Soon after its publication, he founded The Parisian Society of Psychologic Studies for the purpose of obtaining instructions through mediums to elucidate truth and duty. He also founded and edited a monthly magazine, entitled La Revue Spirite, Journal of Psychologic Studies. Similar associations were soon formed all over the world. Many of these published periodicals in support of the new doctrine, and all of them transmitted to the Parisian Society the most remarkable of the spirit-communications received by them.

From the materials furnished to him from around the globe, he enlarged and completed The Spirits’ Book, Revised Edition in 1857. Kardec himself would go on to edit and publish four other books through this cooperation with the spirit world before passing in 1869: The Mediums’ Book (1861), The Gospel According to Spiritism (1864), Heaven and Hell (1865), and The Genesis (1868).

Thousands visited Kardec, including many with high rank in the social, literary, artistic, and scientific worlds. The Emperor Napoleon III., who was interested in spiritist-phenomena, sent for him several times to discuss his book.

Suffering from heart disease, in 1869 Allan Kardec drew up the plan of a new spiritist organization that would carry on the work after his death. To this society, which was to be called “The Joint Stock Company for the Continuation of the Works of Allan Kardec,” he intended to bequeath the copyright of his spiritist writings and of the Revue Spirite.

On the 31st of March 1869, after he finished drawing up the constitution and rules of the society, he was seated in his usual chair at his study-table. He quickly passed from the earth to the spirit-world.



The celebration of Halloween began as the ancient festival of Samhain practiced 2,000 years ago by the Celts in the area that is now Great Britain and northern France. The festival marked the harvest and beginning of winter. The Celts believed that on the eve of the new year, which was November 1st for them, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead thinned, ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

The presence of the otherworldly spirits, they believed, made it easier for the Druids to make predictions about the future. Their prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the cold, dark winter. The Druids built huge bonfires. People came dressed in costumes made of skins and animal heads to offer sacrifices to Celtic gods. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires from the sacred fire to help protect them during the long winter.

As the Roman Empire conquered Celtic territory, two Roman festivals were combined with Samhain. Feralia was a day in late October when the Romans commemorated the passing of the dead. The second festival honored Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.

Once the Catholic church subjugated the Roman Empire, the pagan celebrations were replaced by All Martyrs Day. In 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to honor of all Christian martyrs. Pope Gregory III later expanded the festival to include saints as well. The date was moved from May 13 to November 1.

By the 800s, Christianity had spread across Europe. The church made November 2nd All Souls’ Day, to honor the dead. All Souls Day was celebrated with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. It was called All-hallows or All-hallowmas. The night before was called All-Hallows Eve. That eventually became Halloween.

Those who follow the ancient traditions believe as the Celts, that Halloween is a time when the veil thins between the world of the living and the dead. This contrasts with the beliefs of Spiritualism. Even though Spiritualists believe in the existence of the two worlds, we do not believe that the connection between the worlds is affected by the position of the Earth in its journey around the sun.

Spiritualist believe in the “communion of spirits and the ministry of angels” as well as “the continuous existence of the human soul.” We believe that when the physical body dies, the spirit continues in the spiritual world. The spiritual world can interface with the material world, but that does not require a special day, time or place to happen.

As one who had a childhood near-death experience (NDE) and trained as a medium, I believe the connection between worlds is affected by both personal experience and education. I am fortunate that my NDE makes it easier for me to contact the spirit world. But even with that experience, I had to receive instruction to become a medium.

Halloween is a celebration that harkens back to ancient days when humans first questioned their existence in the world. It can bring us closer together and maybe bring us closer to the spirit world, but it doesn’t take an ancient festival to reach the other side. It is always here with us.


Leslie Flint was born in London in 1910. At the age of eight, he saw the apparition of a deceased uncle in his grandmother’s kitchen. Around the same time, he became aware that the voices whispering all round him were not of this world.

Flint worked as a cemetery gardener, grave-digger, a semi-professional dancer, a cinema usher and a barman before he attempted mediumship. He founded a spiritualist circle in Sydney Grove, Hendon, to demonstrate his psychic gifts and prove the “spirit-transcended existence of the physical body.” He conducted his first seance at the age of 17. His first public seance was held in 1955 for an association he had formed named the Temple of Light.

Flint had a spirit guide named Mickey, who was a child killed in 1910. But his connection was not limited to Mickey. An avid fan of Rudolph Valentino, he made repeated contact with the spirit of the man as well as other notable persons. But most of the spirit voices were of ordinary people, sending messages of hope and comfort to those attending his demonstrations.

Flint didn’t use trumpets or other paraphernalia. While sitting in total darkness, he worked wide awake, not in a trance. During seances, people reported hearing voices from all around the room. They could respond to family, strangers and famous individuals who manifested around Flint. Despite his gaining popularity, he never charged for his seances.

In the mid-1930s, Flint was filling the biggest halls in London and answering mailbags of letters. He submitted to a variety of tests to disprove accusations of ventriloquism or other deceptions. In one seance, he held a measured quantity of colored water in his mouth during the demonstration.  A throat microphone was used to register vibrations from his larynx while the voices spoke during another gathering. Flint said, “I have been boxed up, tied up, sealed up, gagged, bound and held – and still the voices have come to speak their message of life eternal…”

Flint eventually allowed anyone to tape-record his seances. Recordings are now stored at the University of Manitoba. About 2,000 audiotapes and 300 books make up the collection.

As Flint aged, bronchitis and other health problems took their toll. His abilities became unreliable and the voices faded.  He died in May of 1994.

For further information and recordings:



Albert Wishart was a native of Belfast, Ireland. Born to a teen mother in October 1917, he was informally adopted by the Best family soon after. Albert did not speak much about his childhood, only mentioning that it was difficult.  Although modest and reclusive, he was known for his sense of humor, his love of whiskey, and friendly personality.

Albert recalled having his first spiritual experience at the age of seven in 1925, when he saw the full materialization of a Spirit.  That same year, the Belfast Spiritualist Alliance was established at Central Hall, near his home. The Alliance would later play a pivotal role in Albert’s development.

Albert quit school at the age of 14 after Mrs. Best died. In 1932, he began working as a fitter in the Belfast Rope Works. He also attended the Belfast Spiritualist Alliance Church. It wasn’t long before they recognized Albert’s spiritual gifts. He was invited to sit in Circle for development.

Albert married, and he and Rose had three children.  September 1939, he volunteered to join the 6th Battalion of the Royal Inniskillen Fusiliers. He was taken prisoner of war and shot twice; once in the mouth and once in his left hand, which left it paralyzed. After being released from prison camp, he returned to home to find that Rose and the children had been killed during a German air raid in Belfast on May 5, 1941. What remained of the bodies was buried in a mass grave.

Albert was devastated and wouldn’t return to Belfast permanently. Instead, he moved to Scotland and settled in Ayrshire where we worked for the Post Office. He found a development Circle there, and by 1951 started to attend the Spiritualist Church in Kilmarnock.  Utilizing his experience in the Post Office, he was not only able to give the names of visiting spirits during trance, he could also give addresses and telephone numbers as well as information about past lives and events.

One person witnessed the following during one of Best’s demonstrations: “If I had not been in the company of people who I consider sane of mind, I would not have believed my eyes, as the chair, along with Mr. Best, lifted up till the little man’s head was near ceiling height. No sooner had this happened that voices could be heard, which I can say came from no one seen sitting in that room. The chair slowly returned to the floor with Mr. Best still calling out to the invisible forces around him and the session ended soon after. The medium explained that he was unharmed and never in any danger, but he did not like it when they played games like that just to impress people. He said that the spirits who had played this prank on him were men who had been part of his squadron during the war and who had died in Africa in 1943. This was Mr. Best’s account; quite honestly, I, along with the most of my group, even those among us with a background in physics, have absolutely no explanation for what we experienced.”
By the late 1950’s Albert left his job in the Post Office and moved to Glasgow. He joined a new Healing Sanctuary in Thornhill and remained as a Healer in this non-denominational Sanctuary until 1982. Albert traveled the world, visiting places like India and Australia. On his visit to India in 1991, he warned Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to stay out of crowds as he was in great peril. Weeks later, Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber. He also saw the materialization of his children while visiting India.

Both his mediumship and healing ability were legendary. Albert turned down countless offers to appear on television, but mentored celebrity mediums Colin Fry and Gordon Smith. He was a renowned tutor at Arthur Findlay College for years. He was honored for his unceasing work for Spiritualism by being awarded Spiritualist of the Year in 1994.

Albert was hospitalized in Glasgow on April, 2 1996. At one point he saw his wife and children in the room with him. Witnesses said there were tears of joy in his eyes, and he told visitors: “They’ve come, you will have to let me go.” Afterward, he slipped into a coma from which he never regained full consciousness. He passed ten days later and left his body to medical research with a Scottish University. Best is considered one of the most important Spiritualist Mediums of the 21st Century.