My mother passed away unexpectedly, and we were very close. I’ve had no communication with her since she died, except one night, a ball of light appeared to me. It was beautiful and filled with what looked like sparkling white diamonds. When I looked at it, I felt complete joy. When I blinked, however, it was gone. Was this my mother? I would never have expected a spirit to look like this. Are there many different forms spirits can take when they appear?
The ball of light you saw was definitely a spirit of some kind. It could have been your mother, or it could have been a spirit guide or another divine being that appeared in the wake of your mother’s passing to give you comfort and boost your faith.
Spirits can appear to us in many different forms. Usually when loved ones in Spirit come to us, however, they take a form we will recognize, or we “just know” it was them. This only makes sense, since the point behind such visits is to let us know that they continue on and are doing fine. Given the beauty and joy of this experience, what you encountered here sounds like a being of a high spiritual nature like a guide or an angel, though certainly departed loved ones of a highly evolved spiritual nature might appear in such a way.
There is something of a spectrum of spirit manifestations. At the low end are “ghosts” and earthbound spirits. In residual hauntings (where ghosts are not conscious of our presence or trying to interact with us), we tend to see things in our peripheral vision, but when we look in that direction, nothing is there.
Before I awakened psychically, my college roommate and I saw a ghost like this in an old house where we were babysitting. We’d catch a flash of a long skirt swishing around the corner, but when we looked in that direction, nothing was there. There were other phenomena as well; in particular, it sounded like big, heavy furniture was being dragged around the foyer in the middle of the night when no one was down there.
When entities are of a conscious nature and trying to interact with us, we are far more likely to either see them straight on or at least get a clear impression of them despite seeing them only fleetingly or in our peripheral vision. This happens because the spirits are actively trying to appear to us, but it takes a great deal of energy for them to manifest in physical form.
Also, our brains are constantly filtering our perceptions, but less so in our peripheral vision, so we may perceive something peripherally, but then when we look right at it, our brains filter out our awareness of anything that is a shock or challenge to our belief system. In my experience, these sorts of encounters tend to be frightening, either because the entity involved is of a lower nature or because we are afraid of such encounters to begin with.
The most common way to perceive our own loved ones in Spirit is in our dreams. I believe that all of us dream of our departed loved ones, but not all of us remember it. When we do, these “dreams” have a special quality. We feel we have actually been with our loved one, and usually, we are aware in the dream that our loved one is “dead.” We may even wonder at our ability to see and talk to them since we know that they have died.
Similar to this but a step closer to a conscious waking experience is something I’ll call a “waking dream.” Many people occasionally awaken at night to the presence of a departed loved one. They may actually see a vision of that spirit in the room with them, sense their presence, or smell something they associate with them. This is sort of like peripheral vision, in that we are not fully conscious, so our brains aren’t filtering out stuff it can’t make sense of. It’s like there is this little gap in our perception, and spirits that are trying hard to get through to us will take advantage of that gap by slipping in while we’re dreaming, and then rousing us from our slumber.
Often just spirits’ presence is enough to wake us, but if they are strong and skillful, they could do something like make a light flicker or the doorbell chime. Usually, however, this happens on an astral level, so we may awaken to a “noise” that sounded real, but not be sure if we heard it with our physical ears or “in our dreams.”
Finally, when our own vibration is high enough and we are psychically awake enough, we may have a fully conscious, waking encounter with a spirit. This is what it sounds like you had. In such an encounter, there is never a sense of fear, but rather a sense of profound peace.
When we’re in this state of heightened vibration and awareness, we may hear a spirit talking to us. This may seem like it is physically audible, but most of the time, it happens mentally. Sometimes, however, there is a short burst of physical phenomena in the beginning to get our attention.
For example, we may hear a spirit whisper our name, which draws our attention. Since the spirit can’t maintain the energy that physical phenomena require, however, the experience will seem brief and inexplicable if we’re unable to tune in to what is happening metaphysically. If, however, we know how to use our psychic senses, we can shift into an altered state of consciousness to prolong the experience on a subtler level.
The initial attention-getting event can be a smell, a touch, a vision, etc. For example, we may perceive something like your ball of light or energy. In fact, this is just how I perceived spirits of departed loved ones early on.
The first time this happened, I was sitting on the floor with my one-year-old son and thinking with great love about my grandmother. Just as a feeling of her presence came over me, I saw a big ball of purple energy hovering in the air above us. The fascinating thing is that as this happened, my infant son looked right at that spot and stared at it just like I was doing, even though his back was to me.
I have perceived spirits as balls of colored energy like this a number of times, and perhaps more commonly, as transparent energy that is similar to heat waves rising off of hot pavement. Always these visions are accompanied by the feeling of a spirit’s presence.
It’s important to note that with time, I have perceived spirits less and less with my physical eyes, and more and more on an inner, mental level. I believe this is because the more physical the phenomena, the more energy it takes for spirits to appear. I imagine it’s a bit like paying for something you want: if spirits can communicate with me for $2.00 worth of energy, why would they pay $20?
Sometimes spirits do expend more energy, however, and that’s to convince us. So often if we just “see” or “hear” a spirit in our minds, we doubt the experience and dismiss it as wishful thinking. When we do this, we really make our loved ones work hard, and sometimes they just don’t have the power and skill to come through to us in a more physical form.
While many people long for a sign from a departed loved one, few realize that there are things they can do to help spirits fulfill their desires. For starters, they can learn how to perceive spirits’ presence, and trust in their subtle experiences so spirits don’t have to work so hard.
I believe that your encounter was meant to affirm for you that spirits really do exist, and thus your mother must continue to exist as well. I also believe that if you cherish this experience and let it boost your faith in such matters, it will empower you to manifest another spiritual encounter that erases any doubts in your mind and helps you heal your grief over your mother’s passing.