ISADORA DUNCAN AND I by Alyson Dunlop

ISADORA AND I

Isadora Duncan photoRound about 1999, I was in the passenger seat of a car.  We were heading towards Glamis Castle, along a country road.  Suddenly, I was no longer in the passenger seat.  I was in the driver’s seat, but at the same time my consciousness was outside looking at the scene.  It’s difficult to explain, but it seems the mind can really be in two places at the one time.  The scene before me showed a woman in a 1920’s style car and the same style of clothing.  The car was cream, with burgundy leather seating.  The woman was also wearing cream (or white).  She had short, bobbed, curly hair.  She was upset.  Or I was, as I was still also experiencing this through the woman’s eyes.  The whole thing lasted about somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds.  I really can’t quite remember, but it seemed like a long time.  Then I was back in the passenger seat in the here and now, wondering what the heck just happened!

A few years after this incident, a friend gave me a present.  It was photo frame, with a cutting from an article.  The picture was of a woman dancing.  I asked my friend who it was.  She told me it was Isadora Duncan.  “Who is Isadora Duncan?” I asked.

isadora04

“You’ve never heard of Isadora Duncan?!” my friend replied, astonished.  She explained that Isadora was an American dancer, whose style was unique and innovative.  She taught her own style of free form dance. My friend told me I reminded her very much of this dancer, as I was also free-spirited.  I may have mentioned my thoughts on dancing to my friend at some point.  I can’t remember.  In any case, she seemed to believe Isadora and I were very similar in nature.

5045[1]From the moment I could walk, I danced.  Everyone commented on it.  When I was younger I was less inhibited, but it would seem I kept the babysitters entertained.  I don’t really remember that.  Dance lessons in those days were very expensive, but in any case I never wanted dance lessons.  I couldn’t stand having to remember and follow set steps.  That’s not how I dance.  I dance to the beat of the music. It mirrors the soul.  It’s like entering an ecstatic trance, as I would later find out is a thing.  To me, it has always been natural.  It epitomises the phrase “going with the flow”.  During my years doing my National Certificate and Higher National Certificate in Drama and Theatre Arts, at different colleges, my dance teachers always commented on the natural rhythm I possessed.  I still didn’t like dance class. When I stopped to think and remember the sequence, it affected the rhythm.  I didn’t like that.  My brain never seems to be able to do both.  Perhaps it is a right brain left brain thing.  I have no idea. isadora-duncan-as-first-fairy-1896

I completely forgot about the conversation with my friend and (to my shame) Isadora Duncan, and continued with my university studies and pursuits.  All of these were focused around my degree subject of classics, the pagan society which I had founded there, and theatrical projects.  The subjects I was most drawn to were Greek religion and magic, so it’s no surprise that several productions I was involved in were focused on classics, psychology, ancient religious beliefs, and magic.

At college, I had been the tragic Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible.  At university, I played the tragic Phaedra in Hippolytus and then went on to adapting and directing.  First a Roman novel by Petronius, called the Satyricon then playing Caesar’s wife, as well as directing the comedy Rinse the Blood off my Toga (ironic, considering the events I would learn years later).  One of my favourite projects was Bacchae: The
Pie-Eyed Piper
.  I merged Tam o’ Shanter by Robert Burns with Euripides’ Bacchae, directed it, and was one of the Chorus of belly dancers.  The play featured, as well as these curvaceous ladies, lots of different sizes and shapes of Maenads (Greek for ‘mad women’).  We all danced with free and wild abandon, and not too many steps to remember!  It was a pleasure to see their true nature and confidence 215321_5085639055_2636_nblossom, although I always find directing a stressful experience I must admit.

In recent years, I’ve gone back to my interest in the paranormal and UFOs.  With the encouragement and support of Malcolm Robinson, the founder of SPI, I agreed to run SPI Scotland on his behalf.  I have always kept up with my mystical and psychic development, and recently, in meditation, I revisited the scene of the 1920s car experience.  In it, I saw a woman lying on the road injured.  An angel appeared and I whispered to her someone was there to help her and it would be okay.  As the angel ascended with the woman in his arms, I asked his name.  “Zachariel.” He replied, with glint in his eye, as though he knew something I didn’t.  If you’ve never seen one, let me tell you that angels are somewhat unnerving with their non-human eyes.  I later found out that Zachariel – who I’d never heard of either – is an angel of memory, as is the winged horse who had taken me on the journey.

Through SPI Scotland and SSPR, I met a couple of women who have become very good friends: Lynsey Clelland and Margaret McMahon.  A few weeks ago we were at the monthly SPI Scotland book club meeting.  I told them about my strange experience in the car and of the meditation.  I told them at first I thought it might be a past life thing, although I don’t know if I even believe in past lives.  Margaret exclaimed that it reminded her of Isadora Duncan, to which my ears pricked up.  “Why?” I asked.  Margaret explained that Isadora had been killed in a car accident in 1927.  Her long flowing scarf Isadora_Duncan_640caught in the wheels of a Bugatti convertible, possibly 35 or 37.  Some say an Amilcar.  I’d actually say the car I saw in my vision was more like a Chrysler or Rolls Royce Convertible.  She met a very tragic end in this freak and horrific accident.  I sat there stunned, piecing together the jigsaw as the story of Isadora unfolded.  On looking at photographs of Isadora she does, indeed, look remarkably similar to the woman in my vision and meditation.  Our lives, it would seem, are mirrored in several ways, not just the vision I had of a car accident (and later I found out she had a few of them).  She too, was a feminist and like me enjoyed interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches in her projects.  This was exactly what my talk at the Scottish UFO & Paranormal Conference was about in trying to understand profound experience and how to communicate with interdimensional beings.  In fact, it was suggested to me by a member of the Traditional Cosmological Society at Edinburgh University who heard my talk that I get in touch with them, as they would definitely want to hear my ideas.

As I’ve mentioned, I have the same philosophy about dancing as Isadora Duncan did, but we also were drawn to ancient Greece.  She stated that: “The Dance of the Future will have to become again a high religious art as it was with the Greeks.”

1923._Esen_duncanBy coincidence, if there is such a thing, a short time after Isadora separated from her husband, Sergei Yesenin, he committed suicide by hanging; as did my boyfriend, Rod, in 1997.  He had a similar depressive psychiatric illness as Sergei.  Our relationship was not long-lasting – six months, but only a few weeks after we separated, he took his own life in a psychiatric hospital, where he hung himself.  I have never been able to find out the exact details, but it was with a tie of some kind.  There was an inquest, as most folk would see how obvious it is to make sure someone who is suicidal does not have anything like that in their possession.  I never found out what Rod’s suicide note said, but Sergei’s goodbye poem reads:

Goodbye, my friend, goodbye.

My love, you are in my heart.

It was preordained we should part

And be reunited by and by.

Goodbye: no handshake to endure.

Let’s have no sadness – furrowed brow.

There’s nothing new in dying now

Though living is no newer.

Choking has always been a sensitive issue for me.  When I was a toddler of about two years old, I choked on something, and lost consciousness.  I was a gonner, if it hadn’t been for my father tipping me upside down and dislodging the blockage.  I have never been able to bear choking in front of people.  I have to leave the company, and have always felt upset by it, even starting to cry when it happens.

On a happier note, Isadora and I have other shared interests and pleasures.  As I have said, my interest in ancient Greece lies primarily with the subject of their religion, which included ecstatic dance, as reflected in my adaptation of Euripides Bacchae.

[Isadora’s description, from My Life of their days in Greece] It was decreed to rise at sunrise..and greet the rising sun with joyous songs and dances. Afterwards we were to refresh ourselves with a modest bowl of goat’s milk. The mornings were to be devoted to teaching the inhabitants to dance and sing. They must be made to celebrate the Greek gods and give up their terrible modern costumes. The afternoons were to be spent in meditation, and the evenings given over to pagan ceremonies with appropriate music.

Margaret McMahon further added to these strange coincidences by telling me that for the first few months I was a member of the SSPR she had my name listed as Alyson Duncan, and was convinced that was what I was called!  It was only after someone else had pointed out the mistake that she realised and wondered how on Earth she could have thought that.  She told me she’d had to go and change all the records over to my real name!

AX_Isadora_Duncan_Tomb_cropI once visited Isadora’s grave in Pere Lachaise years ago.  I did, of course, feel a sense of sadness as I stopped by her final resting place.  But, this is obviously a natural reaction in a cemetery.  I will no doubt go back again, and this time I will be sure to lay some flowers for this remarkable lady who met such a sad and untimely end.  Her final words were initially said to be “I am off to glory!”  However, her friends later admitted they were embarrassed to say they were actually “I am off to love!” as it implied she and the driver of the Bugatti, Benoît Falchetto, were leaving for a sexual liaison.  I will be sure never to say either of those expressions!

Incidentally, the day Margaret, Lynsey and I were discussing all this, I was wearing a long flowing scarf – something I have quite a liking for, as Isadora did too.  However, on our last outing, as I climbed into Lynsey’s car, I made sure to remove it.  I’ve become a tad superstitious of wearing them in cars…

I don’t have all the answers.  I don’t know what this means.  It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that I am the reincarnation of Isadora Duncan.  Others have speculated we have a similar demeanour and physique, although she was much taller.  But, I am stepping back from the situation and keeping an open mind, because I’m really not convinced that I am.  I’ll certainly be continuing to investigate this strange case, as I have yet to watch any films about her life or read her book.  I have loved watching clips of the Isadora Duncan Dancers, though.  Such free movement, and always in flowing Greek-style dresses.  Wonderful!  Perhaps I will discover more in the future.

I have several theories, and have kept several details out this report (Sherlock would be proud!).  It’s possible that Isadora is influencing me, reaching out to someone with a similar nature and soul, someone who will be able to pass on her message and philosophy.  My maternal grandmother had similar experiences (in fact, both sides of my family have pretty good psychic and spiritual awareness).  If that is what it is, I hope I have helped her spirit.  I hope I have managed to rinse the blood off her toga, and that her soul rests in peace, knowing she is not forgotten by any of us.

But, let’s give the final word to Isadora, and say “Bravo!” for bringing us modern dance, and standing for female equality and freedom.

dont-let-them-tame-you-isadora-duncan-quote

HOSPITAL GHOSTS by Alyson Dunlop

hospital_night

People often comment on how spooky hospitals can be at night.  It’s true.  They can be extremely disconcerting, especially when you are ever so slightly attuned to seeing through the veil.

I was in hospital in May and December 2014.  Both times I experienced seeing spirits and one other entity.  I’ll start with the spirits, as they are less unnerving.

On 28th May 2014, I had my 2nd kidney transplant.   I awoke from the anaesthetic feeling obviously very woozy, and drugged up to the eyeballs on morphine.  Not, incidentally, classed as a hallucinogen.  However, when your consciousness is neither here nor there you are in…the twilight zone!

I was being propped up in bed by two nurses, and just before I reached full awareness, a young man passed by my bed.  He had fair hair, possibly strawberry blonde.  In that light, it was difficult to tell.  He had a rucksack on his back, and was around 15 years old, give or take a year.  He didn’t even realise I’d seen him, but he seemed to look in my direction as he passed the bed going towards the door.  Then, I was fully conscious and couldn’t see him.  At some point later, a smoky mist passed by the bottom of my bed.

Another spirit who visited me was a family friend who had died the year before.  It was her second visit to me.  The first time was in a dream.   At that point, she was annoyed as she still had so much to give to others.  However, when she visited me in hospital, she seemed much happier, and it looked to me like she had been given a task to do.  She told me it had all been sorted anyway, and all was fine.

At the start of December, I was admitted back into hospital.  This time with septicemia.  I was given a private room.  The room next to the room I had been in before.  The first room was at a slight angle to the left of my door, which was sometimes open.  After a couple of days, an old lady was admitted to the room next to me.  Things were not looking good for her, and the family were very upset.  They took turns to be with her during the night.

Being in hospital with no Facebook for distraction (!) was a very good opportunity for me to get stuck into “Left at East Gate” (thanks to Larry and Peter who were, unbeknownst to them, my sole company outwith visiting hours).  One evening around 11pm, I was lying in bed reading it, and looked up.  There, outside the old woman’s door was a dark shadow.  I didn’t like the feeling I got, but just observed.  In the early hours, I saw family members coming out the room distraught.  The doctors were telling them to expect the worst.  Again, they took turns, never wanting to leave her alone.  But, whenever there was no one standing outside the door, there was that shadow.  Then it started very slowly moving…

So slowly.  It was creeping in towards the room.   I was sure it was there for the old woman.  I know people have their set time on this Earth, but just because someone is old, that’s no reason not to try to save them.  I felt utter horror that I seemed to be witnessing some kind of dark energy after a vulnerable elderly person.  If I could do something, anything, then I had to do it.  There was only one thing I could think to do, one thing that has never let me down.  The most reliable forces I could think of.  I closed my eyes and called upon the archangels.  I called upon Archangel Michael to protect the old woman and fight off whatever was coming to get her.  I called upon Archangel Raphael, angel of healing, to help her get better and stronger.  And when I was sure they were there, I demanded that the dark shadow retreat and leave her alone, that she was under angelic protection.  I looked.  The shadow seemed to be retreating.  Then I couldn’t see it any longer.

The next day, it seemed the old lady had a miraculous recovery.  She was so much better that she was able to be moved into a ward with others.  I make no assumptions.  I can only tell you the facts as I witnessed them.

I asked a nurse if she, or any of her colleagues, had ever experienced anything strange in the ward.  She pointed to the door, from left to right, and said “There’s something out there.  I’m convinced of it.”  She said that sometimes she had seen something passing out of the corner of her eye.  When she found out how interested I am in the subject, she exclaimed: “You would have loved it in here last week!”  She proceeded to tell me about the ward to the right of my room.  An old man had been lying in bed one night, and the nurses were startled by his screaming.  They ran to his aid, and he shouted that he was being pulled out the bed by his feet.  They gave him a cup of tea, and tried to calm him down.  I bit my tongue and refrained from pointing out the caffeine wouldn’t have helped his nerves much, or helped him to sleep – I have to remember to sometimes take off my hypnotherapist hat…  Besides, this was more important.  Later on a nurse went into the ward to check on him.  She was putting something into a cupboard in the room, when an invisible hand grasped her forearm.  I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have seen her for dust, as she ran to tell her colleagues that another strange event had taken place.

So, that was my experience of the Western Infirmary in Glasgow.  It’s difficult to set up investigations in such places, but it seems like I was in the right place at the right time so was able to do an impromptu investigation alone, and stumbled upon a dark entity that seems to have a penchant for attacking vulnerable elderly people.

Funnily enough, in May I had taken my camera and recording equipment, as my intention had been to sneak to the operating theatre that is supposed to be haunted.  I wasn’t well or strong enough to really get away with wandering about in the middle of the night.  But it was okay.  The ghosts and other beings paid me a visit instead.  Sometimes you don’t have to go looking.  It finds you.

By Alyson Dunlop