“The people at the Holistic Studies Institute were incredibly friendly and a lot of fun. They hold weekly séances (Fridays at 8:30 pm and Sundays at 6:00 pm) and I have every intention of visiting them for one of those sooner rather than later.” – Rebecca “A Moveable Feast: HSI” 10/02/06

Well sooner just happened. On Friday January 19, 2007 I headed back to the Holistic Studies Institute in Albany, NY to attend one of their séances. My husband Jim, who has gone with me on every Magical Buffet field trip, was unable to go with me on this one. As a testament to how cool Jim is, it took 3 members of the Northern NY Paranormal Research Society and one of their friends to compensate for his absence! That’s right, I brought together two great groups that go great together, the Holistic Studies Institute and the Northern NY Paranormal Research Society. If you know the NNYPRS, you know they never turn down a chance to check out any paranormal experience!

Just like my first visit to HSI, things were not as anticipated in a very good way. It looked like the renovations on their offices were either complete or very close to it. The space is a wonderful mix of metaphysically homey and professionally officey, is it any wonder why I like these guys? Things there were bustling as people were leaving from the healing circle that just got done and people were showing up for the evening’s séance. In that bustle, Dave (NNYPRS Albany Team Leader), Dan (Team Member), Misty (Team Member), her friend, and myself made our way into the sacred space set up at the back of their offices.

The lights were dimmed and relaxing music was being played. A large group of people started coming in and grabbing chairs that lined the walls of the room. In the center of the room was a small table with two Spirit Trumpets sitting on it, and later a chair was positioned near it so spirits could take a seat there if they chose to. The room is wonderfully multi-functional. That evening it was being used for a séance, but other times it serves as a church, and others a classroom.

Charlene Robbins was leading the séance. The first thing she did was split up our motley group, which might seem a bit odd, but it was done for a reason. Since we all knew each other we could be sharing the same energies, which could confuse the mediums from being able to determine exactly who certain messages were intended. So after we all split up, the séance began.

Charlene first gave us all a little information about HSI and their séances. Someone came around to collect donations. We were all told to put ourselves in an open position, which meant arms down and feet on the floor, a difficult task for a leg crosser like myself! Then all of the lights were turned off and the music was turned up.

We started out with what I will describe as a group guided meditation. Charlene guided all of us to an open and relaxed state. I have to confess, I am notoriously bad at relaxation and meditation, so I was not as relaxed as I probably should have been at the end of the opening. After that, Charlene began getting in contact with spirits.

For obvious reasons, I agreed not to write about messages relayed to people at the séance. These can be of a personal nature, and although I’m not naming everyone there, most people would probably not like me airing their spiritual laundry in a public forum. Here is what I will share with you.

Charlene was the lead medium, but HSI helps people get in touch with their psychic abilities and there were other HSI people there that also acted as mediums. They were encouraged to share impressions they were getting with others. In fact, if anyone felt they were seeing or experiencing anything of note they were encouraged to share with the group. It made for a séance, but also an educational experience for those interested in exploring their possible inclinations towards mediumship.

I wish I could say that I saw some mind blowing physical manifestations, but alas none were to be had. That’s okay though, the Holistic Studies Institute does not endorse the use of any of the tricks that gave Spiritualists of the past a bad name. This means that sometimes there are no big surprises, but what it also means is that if something happens….something actually happens. Also, not being that psychically aware, there could have been spirits forming a cheerleading pyramid in the middle of the room and more than likely I would have been oblivious!

The séance lasted about an hour and a half, and was worth the time for the relaxation practices alone! Just like the last time, the folks at the Albany, NY Holistic Studies Institute were friendly, kind, and just gosh darned likeable!

Just like I mentioned the last time I wrote about HSI, they hold weekly séances (Fridays at 8:30 pm and Sundays at 6:00 pm), except on the weekends they hold their psychic fairs. To learn more about the whens and wheres I encourage you to visit: www.holisticstudies.com.






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