I knew she was an intuitive when I first met her about 3 years ago, we became friends almost immediately. We both worked within an old used book store, one of the biggest in Brasil. Her thing, among others, was tarot card reading and she’d been reading them for more than half her sixty-five years.
What makes her different is the answers she can extract from people no-longer living, an incredibly well tuned ability that had initially been discovered due to a punishing cruel, tragic incident in her younger years, followed by a series of more devastating situations that seemed to befall her again and again. Then one day, something happened and she realized her gift/curse.
Throughout my life I’ve been exposed to psychics and seers. My mother introduced me to the writings of Edgar Cayce when I was young, as she was practicing automatic writing, dream analysis and programmed meditation. Even though I want to believe in the supernatural I remain skeptical, however that has never stopped me from reading everything I could about remote viewing and all things related to the transcendence of the mind, whether by a substance or by some esoteric art, my entire life I’ve been fascinated by the power of the mind.
Several times I visited Cassadaga Florida, plus experienced some very weird things, to with with a crystal ball, in New Orleans. However, Cassadaga in Florida is most interesting because all along the opposite side of the road to the spiritual camp there are small houses, one after another, they almost look like children’s playhouses but they are all the dark arts, such as tarot, voodoo and other practices that are every bit as valid as the light-workers across the street. As I remember it, the tarot readers and occultists etc… were on the dark side of the road, they’re in an UN-incorporated township and were once (maybe still are) in dispute for their right to remain in quasi-business (some only open on busy weekends).
The Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is large and impressive, on manicured grounds in a park like setting, very peaceful and inviting but it’s all the wonderful people and great psychics that attend, that makes it so great and so much fun. On certain days at designated times there are free psychic readings, for a selected number of attendees, by a panel of local and visiting psychics. The readings are done live and in front of the attendees. I was once lucky enough to have my fortune told, in front of the crowd by an elderly southern gentleman, with white hair, who I’ll never forget, was wearing a canary yellow sports coat, told me several things that day that have all but one, come true.
Probably in some cases the village prophet, seer, soothsayer or psychic was a family business because they were the ones to dispense the herbs, potions, lotions, lexers and concoctions. One wizard passes down the secret recipes to his own progeny, just keeping it in the family. Therefore, in modern times it stands to reason that a majority of the people making a living from reading tarot cards, palms, tea leaves, crystal balls and people’s fortunes in all the ways possible, are making the stuff up and actually have no clue… Not an Intuitive.
Throughout the world, every culture boasts of it’s special person, the witch-doctor, soothsayer, or in the case of my friend at the bookstore, an “Intuitive”. My thinking is that in many cases of folk-lore, the “medicine-man” person was often a charlatan that got in that position by a lucky twist of fate, or a smart guess in front of a curious crowd and then the word spread. We all want magic, it’s in our genetics. To actually have the ability, whether by dark arts or light, is both a gift and a curse. It’s one thing to be admired by the tribe, plus keeper of all those herbs and lexers but you soon discover that the job comes with major downside – no peace because everybody wants you, including the dearly departed.
Cassadaga (a Seneca Indian word meaning “Water beneath the rocks”) is a small unincorporated community located in Volusia County, Florida, just north of Deltona. It is especially known for having a large number of psychics and mediums, and has consequently been named the “Psychic Capital of the World”.
History of Cassadaga
The Cassadaga Spiritualist camp began when the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association was founded by George P. Colby, from Pike, New York, a trance medium who traveled to many different states, giving readings and seances. He was well known, and in his travels, Colby was referred to as the “seer of spiritualism”. Colby attended summer Spiritualist Camp meetings at Lily Dale, New York, the town adjacent to Cassadaga, New York.
Colby worked with several spirit guides who would give him knowledge. One of his spirit guides was an Indian named Seneca, who had manifested to Colby during a seance in Lake Mills, Iowa. According to Colby, Seneca had instructed him to travel south to Florida, where he eventually arrived at a place called the Blue Springs Landing, near Orange City, Florida. According to Colby, the area that Seneca had led him to was the same area that Colby had seen during the seance in Iowa.
Colby had arrived in Florida in 1875, and on the 18th of December, 1894 the charter was granted to form The Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association. Later on January 3, 1895 Colby had signed a warranty deed to the Association for thirty-five acres. The people who came to the Spiritualist Camp in the early days of its formation were affluent and well educated. The Cassadaga Spiritualist camp was named after the small Spiritualist Camp community found outside of Lily Dale, New York. The Spiritualist Camp Association later received additional acreage that expanded the camp to the current fifty-seven acres.
The Cassadaga Camp today
Today, the Camp features the Cassadaga Hotel, a central auditorium, The Colby Memorial Temple, a community library, the Caesar Forman Healing Center, a Camp Bookstore, and a welcome center. Also, there is the Andrew Jackson Davis Educational building, used for musical performances and gatherings. Nearby is the Colby-Alderman Park.
The principles of spirituality that are taught by the people at Cassadaga state, “Spiritualism has no dogma or creed, just a simple set of nine principles to help guide our lives”. According to the teachings of Spiritualism, it is the “Science, philosophy, and religion based upon the principle of continuous life”. On March 14, 1991, the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist camp was declared a U.S. Historic District. The Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is a federal tax-exempt Church currently governed by a Board of Trustees.
- Bright Eyes has an album called Cassadaga, which features the town in the lyrics of the single “Four Winds“.
- Tom Petty‘s song “Casa Dega” alludes to psychics
- Gemma Hayes has a song entitled “Lucky One (Bird of Cassadaga)” on her debut album “Night On My Side“
- Stanley Elkin‘s novel George Mills takes place partially in Cassadaga.
- Served as the inspiration for the town called Grange in the Carl Hiaasen novel Lucky You.
- Investigated in the 2008 BBC documentary Around the World in 80 Faiths (Episode 5, Faith #43)
- The town is briefly mentioned in the 2009 movie Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant .
- Featured in August 2010 episode of The Glades on the A&E Network
- Parts of the town were featured in the film Dunsmore released in 2003 and directed by Peter Spirer.
- The film Cassadaga is set in and took its inspiration from the town’s history.
Photo credit: kpishdadi via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND
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