Weekly Feature



2014-05-28 / Lifestyles

Walking with light, spiritualism flows through

LILY DALE
by ANNA WALTERS Reporter
ANNA WALTERS
Reporter


Medium Janice Dreshman offers telephone and in-person readings in Lily Dale, New York. Medium Janice Dreshman offers telephone and in-person readings in Lily Dale, New York. My grandmother collected frogs. Not the slimy, croaking kind; they were small figurines displayed on shelves.

When medium Janice Dreshman, who lives within the Lily Dale Assembly — the world’s largest center for spiritualism — offered to give me a reading, I felt a mixture of skepticism and openness toward what the phone call would bring.

According to information from Lily Dale, spiritualists believe in the continuity of life, and some mediums and healers are spiritualists while others are not.

During my reading, Dreshman spoke of a frog resting on my shoulder and described the accurate features of my late grandmother’s hands.

It was like feeling a raindrop land before the ground becomes sodden in the arms of a storm — an unexpected nudge of existence. Images and names danced throughout our conversation, and after ending the call, they continued.


Janice Dreshman uses Native American and Celtic traditions in her life. “I like honoring the four directions and ancestors, and understanding the importance of lineage and the teachings of Celtic shamanism,” she said. Janice Dreshman uses Native American and Celtic traditions in her life. “I like honoring the four directions and ancestors, and understanding the importance of lineage and the teachings of Celtic shamanism,” she said. “A medium is someone who serves as an intermediary between people on earth and in heaven or spirit, and passes on messages,” Dreshman said. “It’s truly about healing, and readings should be fun and uplifting.

Throughout the 30-minute reading, the space where the medium is sitting with someone is sacred, Dreshman said, “because you’re dealing with something so intense and handling it with the best care.”

Dreshman came to Lily Dale, located in Chautauqua County about an hour southwest of Buffalo, in the 1990s and says she didn’t quite have a handle on it at that time. However, religion had always been a significant part of her life, and she became an ordained minister shortly before becoming a registered medium in 2006.

Before earning mediumship, she had to complete a rigorous test and do readings for the Lily Dale board and selective people from the community.

According to Dreshman, in the late 1800s, spiritualist camps formed across the United States, such as Camp Silverbelle in Pennsylvania.

“People would go to the camps and set up a tent between trees, and then cottages were built,” she said. “Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a spiritualist and wrote “Sherlock Holmes,” visited Lily Dale, and Susan B. Anthony, who played a role in the women’s suffrage movement, was welcomed as well.”

Dreshman bought her house in Lily Dalein2004with her late spouse, Robin. Dreshman remembers explaining the house to Robin and her saying, “I just looked at the [same] house today, and knew it was the place for us.”

“The house is a butter yellow with a red tin roof,” Dreshman said. “It sounds like a type of ice cream.”

Established in 1879, Lily Dale continues t
The inspiration stump, located at the end of the Leolyn Woods trail at the Lily Dale Assembly, is a place where visitors can participate in services and watch demonstrations of mediumship. Lily Dale’s opening day is set for June 27. The inspiration stump, located at the end of the Leolyn Woods trail at the Lily Dale Assembly, is a place where visitors can participate in services and watch demonstrations of mediumship. Lily Dale’s opening day is set for June 27. o have tens of thousands of visitors during its season, which typically runs from late June through the first week in September. Dreshman, who favors tradition, still calls it “camp season.”

Lily Dale will open on June 27, and provides mediumship, lectures, workshops and the opportunity to explore landmarks such as the Healing Temple and museum.

Dreshman said she had an awareness of the spirit world even as a small child.

She remembers asking her mother when she was about 3 years old if she could play with her friends at night. Dreshman’s mother replied, “Are they big people like me, or little people like you?”

“They’re big people like you,” Dreshman said.

Once, while traveling in Glencoe, Scotland, she saw a bagpiper and walked to the welcome center to ask when he’d be playing.

The employee was confused because the center didn’t have a bagpiper, but when Dreshman described the tartan pattern of his kilt, the employee said the tartan had belonged to one of the families in the massacre of Glencoe in 1692.

“Spirituality has been a stronghold and priority in my life,” Dreshman said. “I was aware of things, but there was a point in my life when I was watching medium John Edward on television and he was helping people heal. It was so profound.

“I remember saying, ‘I don’t know what he’s doing, but that’s what I want to do,’ and it served as a template.”

Dreshman believes communication is a big key to her work.

“I always start off with a prayer before a reading and ask for messages to come through for the highest good,” she said. “A lot is visual, or particular words and sentences will be received.

“It’s confirming that our loved ones are happy, joyous and free, and we walk with them every day.”

During a reading with a woman, Dreshman brought up a Braunschweiger and cucumber sandwich. While this doesn’t necessarily make sense to Dreshman, it’s a message meant for the woman getting the reading.

Whether an individual travels to Lily Dale searching for meaning or to communicate with loved ones, its gates are open to all.

“Regardless of religious affiliation, there is no barrier to coming to Lily Dale,” Dreshman said. You can just come and be.

“It’s unconditionalism, and that’s the beauty of it.”

For more information, visit www.lilydaleassembly.com.

email: awalters@beenews.com

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