Transformation Time


 A recent Spirit Painting

It may be cliche, but it is still true. Butterflies symbolize transformation and remind me of our own necessary transformations through the many stages of life. Even the phases of life we do not wish to change, and the times we cry out for change that will not come. All things do evolve, alter or transform in our material world in time. Change is inevitable, we may as well try to get through it and/or create it the way we would like it to be, as best we can.

 A friend of mine recently witnessed several butterflies coming out of the chrysalis they inhabited, there were several all around the area where she lives. That is something I have not yet seen in nature, the butterfly emerging, letting it’s wings dry and then fluttering away. They seem so delicate, yet manage to travel great distances (at least the Monarch does). Like us, I suppose. Maybe someone is watching us transform with the same kind of mesmerized joy, rooting us on as we emerge, anew!
Wishing you the best transformations for 2015!

Pomegranate Picking: Choosing Abundance and Joy


Pomegranite Picking


Pomegranates Picking/ ink and watercolor Elaine Clayton copyright 2014

I remember the era of life when I realized that I was not happy and did not have abundance and it was time to choose to change that. Every moment is one to see the love or see the shadows, see the light or get lost in the dark. I don’t always see the love, I am not always bringing love through myself, but for the most part, I learned the hard way to bask in joy instead of cynicism, anger or negative thoughts. I regret negative words I’ve said in my life, and I still work on this, I think being conscious of it has helped me grow.

Sometimes the world we’re in is so polarized, it seems hell-bent toward destruction. How do I keep positive with so much hatred and extremism? I am not sure, but it really is the only choice I have, I’m not going back to choosing (unconsciously or consciously) shadows and darkness. Maimonides taught that the joys we pass up on in life, the good things we could have received but said no to, those are all instances we will have to apologize for in the after-life. Imagine standing in the presence of God, watching a movie of your life, seeing all the negative words, choices and the good things that flowed to us that we rejected. I know I’ll be having to witness some of those, and probably some great stuff that was coming my way that my negative attitude or actions may have kept from coming fully to me–these are all my responsibility. So, I hope I get to see a life-movie that shows some absolutely glorious days of taking this earth time I’ve got, moment by moment, and being filled with LIGHT, in celebration of the good in life, even in these strange, often painful days.

Just Ask an Old Person: Signs and Messages from Carson McCullers

IMG_5177I recently visited the home of one of my favorite authors, Carson McCullers, in Columbus, GA

I read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers around the time my family moved to Georgia. When I found out that she attended my new high school, Columbus High School (a beautiful brick 1890’s building, set on a hill) and had been born and raised in Columbus, I was thrilled. I’d walk the halls of the old school, with it’s solid wooden floors, thinking of how she had also walked on the very same wood, gazed out the very same windows watching the trees  shimmer in the sun.  But one thing kept annoying me. In Heart is a Lonely Hunter, there are Greek characters, and a Greek diner and I never saw anything of that sort in Columbus–nothing Greek anywhere! It bothered me any time I thought of Carson McCullers since high school days. I figured she added the Greek diner part into the novel once she had relocated in her early twenties, to New York City where there are plenty of Greek diners. Then something very interesting happened. Last year, before traveling to see my parents in a retirement community in Columbus, I thought again about the Greek characters in McCuller’s novel and it seemed in-authentic since Columbus is not a magnate for Greek immigrants as far as I know, and never was. I carried on the conversation in my head about how it didn’t fit in, and why did she write something that wasn’t quite truly true to Columbus as a setting for the novel?

When I arrived at my parent’s retirement community, everyone was in the dining hall. It was lunch time. I was seated with my parents beside a quiet, sweet-faced gentleman with a kindly twinkle in his eyes.  It was pleasant enough chatting about nothing in particular with retired strangers and I thought how easy it is in our society to dismiss elderly people. Looking out at all the wheelchairs and gray hair, I thought to myself that I could sit silently, disinterested, but that seemed wrong. So I decided to ask the twinkle-eyed man questions. I asked him where he was from (Alabama was his answer). I asked about his wife, wondering, was she also from Alabama. “My wife was Greek,” he said. I was stunned, but even more so when he said, “Her Greek immigrant father ran the best restaurant in Columbus!” With absolute delight and a serious chill down my neck, with the compelling feeling of the presence of Carson McCullers hovering over us, chuckling, I asked plenty more questions! Yes, the Greek restaurant was in downtown Columbus, and yes his wife’s family knew Carson McCullers, her father’s jewelry shop was nearby, and she grew up coming into the Greek restaurant. Well, blow me down. I was utterly floating on air the rest of the day. I smile now, thinking of McCullers dwelling in the Other Side, straightening out these things for us down here.

Even more recently, reveling in this new found information, telling my sister and brother-in-law about it, we took a drive by the McCullers home, now set up as a museum, in Columbus. As we pulled up to look at the house, we noticed the front door was wide open. And we met a care-taker of the museum who just happened to stop by to check on something, and of course she invited us in. I felt like Carson herself opened that door for me!

IMG_5163My sister in front of the Carson McCullers home in Columbus, Ga. The door was wide open.


Is Your Dog in Heaven?

Planty_heavenDetail from Plantagenet in Heaven  copyright 2013 Elaine Clayton

He was with me, we were on a flying carpet, flying about 7th floor level through New York City, we could see into apartments, my dog and I. And one person, a young woman in her twenties, was delighted to see us as we flew on soft air currents by her window at eye level to her. Plantaganet was beside me, as he had been for so many years. Sometimes now I think I feel him  beside me, in dreams and during moments when I least expect it.

If you’ve had a pet that is no longer on earth, have this pet appeared to you in dreams or visions or in other ways? I’d love to hear about hit. They all go straight up to heaven, we know it.


Trees Have Near Death Experiences


Tree NDE Elaine Clayton copyright 2014
Tree NDE Elaine Clayton copyright 2014

Today I just realized that I think trees have Near Death Experiences. Or rather, they leave the earth in winter and go to heaven until spring, when they bring all the colors, magic, love and abundance from heaven back to us on earth. The only ones who do not do this are the everlasting evergreens who for some reason have volunteered to remain with us all throughout the winter, to nurture us and make the air smell so green and good. They’re noble for that, so I think I’ll go give one a sappy hug. You, too?

When Prospects Seem Gloomy

Elaine Clayton copyright 2013  / monoprint with water color wash

More than before, I find that during intuitive healing sessions, people feel gloomy about the future. College age kids, for example, are facing huge debts and no jobs seem available. How can we create anew when the resources seem nonexistent?

It’s true, it is difficult. We are living in days that are full of turmoil and edgy circumstances, the feeling of “what next?” is always stirring. The macrocosm can be perceived as a vast sea of doom: imploding dramas, unfolding scenes of war, extreme weather, political strife and even children are a part of the cruelty in some horrific circumstances. And all of it lapping up against us personally as we sail along in our own little boats, trying to stay afloat or get where we’re going.  We try to be seaworthy, listening to our sense of truth (our inner divine nature, our intuition) letting the wind guide us as we navigate.  And though these miseries are rocking our boats, there is still the microcosm which is our own inner universe. This is a different kind of seascape. This inner universe is affected by the outer but the deeper in we go, the more we are able to consciously, from the inside out, envision a world we choose. As we create inwardly, we see over time the more “real” this can become outside of us. Using meditation, creative visualization and recording dreams, we may find that some measure of hope and renewal can be grasped even against the worst, most unimaginable circumstances.  We can create an inner realm where all is well, and where we see ourselves as a part of peace, abundance, miracles coming true, the impossible as possible. And instead of feeling defeated by the huge problems we feel invading our vessels and our souls, we can be part of a wondrous change.

I nurture my sense of “going inward” often by read accounts of Near Death Experiences. They have always fascinated me and over and over we are told by those who have had a glimpse of what happens when we die, the same truths revealed. The main message seems to be that if we focus on small acts of kindness, being true in our personal relationships and attending to or loving others the best we can,  we will have learned well.

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“What is Heaven to You?” Dream

I dreamed that a woman took two sweet young girls around to people at a gathering and the girls asked everyone, “What is heaven to you?” When they came around to me, and asked me that question, I looked them in the eyes and felt so much love, innocence and promise, that I responded, “Heaven to me is YOUR EYES.” In this dream I was filled with that feeling of love, life, light and all things good and I felt the message was that it really is true: the light within us, that life force energy, The Source of Life that is heaven is within each of us, and the light in our eyes is proof of that.

Fu Dog: The Guardian Lion Dog Reincarnated

Fu Dog /Acrylic and pastel on paper/ Elaine Clayton copyright 1997

I had a collie I very much loved as a child. I had a lot of deep emotions about this dog that I was not very conscious of having, and a dream along with another event healed me in unexpected ways. When I was about twenty five, I had a dream that I saw my collie, and I walked over, sat down and embraced him. I slowly realized that actually, he was a lion, not a dog. I felt I might be in danger hugging a lion like that. But then the dream switched, even though I was still in the same place. It was as if a screen was lowered to help me understand. A Chinese Fu dog, shimmering and magical, was dancing the most adorable dance. A few months later, I happened to walk by a pet store and desperately wanted to “rescue” one from the place. It was a furry fuzz ball of a puppy, but it seemed to pick ME. So I bought this dog and on the way out of the store, the attendant said to me, “Here’s a book that will tell you about this kind of dog.” I knew nothing, but looking at the little book saw that it was a Shi Tzu and inside it said, that this dog breed was known as Fu Dog or “Lion Dog”. I felt slammed by that, in a good way. I kept thinking, “What if my dream about my beloved dog from childhood was telling me that he was coming back in the form of a new dog, a protector, a lion. A lion dog?” Having this extremely interesting dream connection and the new dog in many ways healed me in that the dog provided companionship and unconditional devotion as well as a lesson in responsibility, grounding me. I still feel this dream and many others are spiritual signs and worth paying attention to. Over the years, my artwork has included Fu Dogs I like to connect to the feeling of synchronicity and guardianship, emotional and physical. (My current dog is a pug, also very much a Fu Dog, she literally dances and prances).

Animals In Heaven

Detail from Planty Goes to Heaven/ Elaine Clayton copyright 2013 

My beloved companion, Plantagenet, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel died a few months ago and I was so sad, feeling his devotion, love and innocence to the very end. I truly felt the deepest grief. I was helped by my sisters and friends and tried to meditate about it. In one meditation, I saw in the quickest flash, a perfect scene of a bright and loving man, a sort of Saint Francis (only he looked so golden, he may have been like a Nordic St. Francis!) beaming with joy to receive Planty, and all around him in a green wood were animals of every kind. I was stricken by the absolute calm and beauty of that flash of imagery. I so wanted to believe it to be true. I have learned over the years to trust quick visual messages like that –often that is how spiritual information arrives.  Later, I did a meditation by sitting with the sunlight on my back. I saw Planty in the realm I created, a place I go to whenever I meditate. He was gloriously happy at the beach (his favorite place to go) running and playing with other dogs. I saw him looking so healthy and young, and all the colors so vibrant and pure. Gradually, I noticed a beach hut that other dogs were trotting into. I went in to get a closer look, and saw that it was a cute little shack with attractive boxes of all kinds of dog treats, ready for the taking. Like a dog candy shop and all the goodies were free. I was amused by that. Then Planty made his way up the hill where there were wonderful houses, and a castle. I followed. In the castle, there were lots of other Cavalier’s and wonderful rooms full of rich, dark wood and cozy beds or chairs to lay on, rugs and candles lit on tables. There was even a virtuous looking princess, a lady who all the Cavaliers loved, living at the castle. Planty conveyed to me that this was his new home in heaven. I came out of the meditation and immediately discounted it as just my way of trying to deal with the pain of losing him. Besides, why would dogs live in houses in heaven?

A few moments later I went on line to read about Near Death Experiences. I never tire of reading those. I found one I had not read before and the woman telling of her stroke and NDE, leaving her body while doctors tried to save her, she described how she was met by none other than her beloved DOG. I was stunned. The synchronicity hit me hard! There’s more. As I read on, she described how her dog showed her where she lived in the spirit realm, and it was a beautiful house with a view of the hills and dales, a fire in the fireplace and cozy rugs to lay on! I could not believe what I was reading. I realized that of course dogs would live in houses in heaven, they’re domesticated and our home is their home. They have their favorite places in the house just as we might.

I painted this painting when I was deep in grief and still haven’t finished it.

The Psychomanteum: Dr. Raymond Moody, M.D., PhD’s Invention

I have been revising the new book, at this point in time entitled MAKING MARKS (Beyond Words/Simon and Schuster) and that (plus scheduled reading sessions) is where all my studio time has gone in the last few weeks. But I’ve wanted to write about my visit to Dr. Raymond Moody, MD, PhD and  Yoga guru (she is a serious yoga practitioner, teacher), Cheryl Moody’s home. To be with my absolute Soul Sistah (Cheryl and I have so much in common and I cannot express enough how fun-loving and deep she is–a person with honesty, integrity) and to talk with Raymond about a variety of thoughts and ideas was enjoyable and inspiring. And one of the highlights of my visit was being able to experience Dr. Moody’s psychomanteum. This is what his site, says about it:

The Psychomanteum is a chamber invented by Dr. Moody, but inspired by the ancient techniques used for 2500 years at the Oracle of the Dead in Ephyra Greece. A visitor to the Psychomanteum often experiences contact with departed loved ones. For further explanation and understanding watch Through the Tunnel & Beyond or readReunions. The process takes several hours and is not to be taken lightly. For more information email us at

My own experience of it was fascinating. In my own 3rd eye spiritual vision, I’m noticing I develop more and more as time goes by and as I pay attention to it, cultivating it. I didn’t know when I entered the chamber (dark so you can truly relax into hypnogogic visions) that anything very different would happen when compared to seeing visions otherwise. (I said a prayer of protection, asking God to allow me to see only what was best for me, according to Divine Will, which I do before any meditation and before almost anything, actually). And as I sank in and opened up my senses, a lot went on that I had not quite experienced before. An hour zoomed by and I was only getting started! I knew that I was beginning to perceive on a different level and something about the dedication and focus stayed with me, as though I had deepened a sense of seeing within myself. I was invited to go back inside the psychomanteum the next evening and visions increased.

If you’re at all interested and serious about developing your spiritual 3rd eye seeing abilities, this might be for you. Otherwise, you will not find a more caring and brilliant guide–Dr. Moody is a genius, but one with a heart. He is a medical doctor and a philosopher, the original Near Death Experience pioneer and his knowledge is staggering (and I mean that), but his gentle humor and soul is that kind of love and compassion that makes the world go ’round.