In an earlier post, I suggested that for the most part, our interactions with Spirit are more like “flickers, not flashes.” In other words, very subtle communication that’s easy to miss unless we’re paying attention … NOT bright, clear images arising and dancing before us.   

Well, not this time!  This time, my dead husband’s presence definitely came in a “flash”!

It was very cool!  And as with most of these experiences, it needs some back story ….

Introducing orbs ….

Have you ever come across a “flaw” in one of your photographs … a light “spot” that doesn’t belong and doesn’t seem to have an obvious source?  Maybe more than one? 

I remember one such photo of our newly arrived kitten, Callie.  You may recall from previous posts about Ron that our two kitties, Callie and Chigger, were our “kids” … we were absolutely head-over-heels in love with them both.

Anyway, a few weeks after they arrived in our home, I took a photo of Callie that we wanted to enlarge, frame, add an inscribed plaque (yeah, yeah … I did say head-over-heels, remember?). 

But the printed photo had a “spot” on it.  Nothing too significant, but noticeable nonetheless … a small white circle in the upper righthand corner.


It wasn’t something that had dropped onto the print, itself.  No, it looked like a light or reflection of some sort that was actually in the scene, but we knew the scene and there was no nearby light source to account for it. 

Darn, must have been an error in the original processing.  Easy enough to check … just look at the negative (this was in 2000, well before the age of digital photography had taken over). 

Hmm, nope … no visible speck of dust or evidence of a drop of chemical that had made its way onto the film during processing.  The light spot was clearly part of the photo … how odd. 

Well, regardless of the source, it marred the picture!  Nothing to do but get it airbrushed out.

It wouldn’t be until six years later that I learned about “orbs” … and realized that perhaps this “spot” wasn’t actually a flaw after all!

So, what is an orb?

As I understand it from my reading, an orb is a ball of light energy that seems to be connected in some way to Spirit … deceased loved ones, spirit guides, or other non-physical beings.  (Yes, yes, I know, I can see the eyes rolling, but stick with me on this.)

Orbs are usually transparent or translucent, but not always, and it appears they often show up in photos when there’s a meaningful occasion at hand, or a message to be conveyed.

I was first introduced to orbs in 2006 when Ron and I attended an energy healer’s day-long seminar in Calgary, Canada. 

The healer’s name was “Adam” … no last name at the time because he was still a kid living with his parents … really! … but one who had discovered an amazing ability to help others heal through manipulating their energy fields.  In fact, the well-known rock ‘n roll musician, Ronnie Hawkins, credited Adam for his recovery from pancreatic cancer (mentioned in this Globe & Mail article April 26, 2003).

Sidenote:  If you’re interested, Adam’s written several books that tell his absolutely fascinating story.  The first was Dreamhealer … a book he published at the age of 16.  Subsequently, Adam (McLeod, we were to learn once he became an adult) graduated with a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, became a Naturopathic doctor, and practiced for some number of years in Vancouver, Canada.  Apparently, he’s now moved on to “other projects.”

So, in this conference auditorium filled with about 700 people, Adam spoke about his healing abilities, how they worked, and conducted a group healing.  We were there, of course, because of Ron’s cancer … exploring every healing avenue we could. 

At one point during the day, Adam introduced to us the concept of “orbs.”  He described them as energy beings, noting that they often showed up in his healing seminars and could be caught on camera in low-light situations. 

As a demonstration, his parents, who were coordinating the session, turned down the lights and took some photos of the auditorium, which they then put up on the large screen for us to see.

And there they were … a handful of sphere-shaped lights of varying sizes and varying intensities.  Some were translucent, some less so.  Intriguing!

Orbs light up the sky?

I don’t have a photo from that specific event, but I found an example online, available in the public domain. Whether this particular photo is authentic, I can’t say, but it’s definitely illustrative of the phenomenon.

(photo by “Comfreak,” posted on

You may have seen photos like this on social media in recent years.  For example, I remember a few circulating from Barack Obama’s inauguration as US President.  Some people speculated this reflected a strong message of support from the Spirit world for this event.

I’ve read about orbs from other sources, too.  In fact, in the book I just posted, “Ghosts Among Us,” the author, James Van Praagh, describes orbs and how they often show up in his seminars, too.

Okay, but what does SCIENCE have to say about orbs … ?

The fact that orbs appear in photos is not controversial … take a look, they’re there.  What is up for debate, of course, is what they are.

A few years ago, I came across a book about orbs written by a German scientist, Klaus Heinemann, Ph.D., and his wife, Gundi Heinemann. 

Klaus Heinemann, a physicist by training, was a well-respected research professor of materials science at Stanford University.  Gundi was an expert in the field of energy healing.  They discovered orbs in 2004 and started on a research tour to photograph and scientifically investigate this phenomenon. 

Coinciding with the advent of digital photography … perhaps not a coincidence, as the authors explain … the orb phenomenon started to explode.  People all over the world were finding these strange shapes showing up in their photos.  So, the Heinemanns pursued their investigation across the globe.

Klaus Heinemann published the results of their research in two books.  The first came out in 2007, “The Orb Project,” which I haven’t read, but which apparently examines this phenomenon in detail and suggests what orbs might be and how they get captured.

The next book is the one I read, “Orbs: Their Mission and Messages of Hope,” published in 2010.  It overviews their research and its findings, but focuses more on examples of orbs, with photos and the stories behind them.

But, surely, these are just dust spots …

The authors describe how they ruled out the common causes used to “explain” orbs … reflections of the flash, dust particles, other airborne particles, defects in the camera, moisture droplets, and so forth. 

They even used a “clean room,” where airborne particles of the size that could explain reflection effects would not be present … and yet they still were able to photograph orbs.

So, what was their SCIENTIFIC explanation?

What I’d heard to this point … from Adam, James Van Praagh, and other non-scientific sources … was that orbs were spirit beings. 

But the Heinemanns disagreed.

No, based on the results of their research, which they describe was conducted with scientific rigour, they unequivocally state that (my emphasis):

“Orbs are likely not Spirit Beings in and by themselves, … “

Oh, okay, I guess that’s not surprising, you know, now that science has had a chance to weigh in.  But then what the heck are they? 

The sentence concludes with their answer:

“… but rather emanations from Spirit Beings.” 

Say, what … ??  Could you repeat that?

“Orbs are likely not Spirit Beings in and by themselves, but rather emanations from Spirit Beings.”

Really!  Isn’t that kind of like … well … you know … po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe?

Frankly, I think it’s super cool either way!

And they’re not all orb-shaped …

Whether spirit beings or emanations from Spirit, there are a variety of images of different shapes, not just orbs, that appear on photos that plainly are not part of the surrounding physical environment. 

The internet is filled with examples of photos that reveal “ghostly” apparitions in all sorts of forms … some quite crystal clear.

Are some of these fake?  Oh, undoubtedly.  But are they all fake?  I think that’s as unlikely as all being authentic.

Besides, I have my own personal example … a photo I took, so I was there and know the conditions in which it was taken and the authenticity of the result.

This one wasn’t orb-shaped either ….

The story behind the photo …

This is another example which reinforces the idea that spirit contact seems to arise in situations that are particularly meaningful to the “spirit person” and/or the “human person” they’re trying to communicate with. 

In fact, the Heinemanns echo this sentiment from their research about orbs … it seems they show up in meaningful situations.  (Their second book is actually all about this, reviewing many examples of orbs and speculating as to why they may have shown up and what message they were trying to convey.)

So, why was MY photo meaningful?

Let me count the ways …

In a recent post, I described the significant role that golf played in my life with Ron … we had so much fun doing this together and we loved to take golfing vacations. 

Now, for us, vacations were a solitary affair … work kept us apart too much already, so we weren’t interested in sharing our time with others.  Vacationing with other people was definitely not on our radar! 

Except with one couple … Buddy and Connie … who for several reasons, had been very special in our lives.  We’d joined them on two golf vacations in the U.S. and we were scheduled for a third … this time on Vancouver Island. 

It was to be the summer following Ron’s and my move to the Island, once we’d comfortably settled into our new home. But, of course, Ron didn’t make it past the fall of our first year.

However, come that summer, Buddy and Connie made the pilgrimage from Texas anyway … the three of us would go golfing in Ron’s honour. I was overwhelmed with their thoughtfulness.

The energies of Cathedral Grove

One day during their visit, we planned to do some sightseeing and take a trip out to a magical place called Cathedral Grove.  This is an area in the middle of the Island, full of giant Douglas fir trees … majestic pillars untouched by the modern world, some over 800 years old.  It has a spiritual quality to it that Ron and I had always appreciated.

That morning, I awoke at 3:33 a.m., and when I left the house to pick up Buddy and Connie at their hotel, I noticed my trip odometer read 333.  Being aware of the significance of numbers by this point, I noted the synchronicity … it seemed like Spirit was reaching out to get my attention.

The three of us arrived at Cathedral Grove and began to soak up its energy.  We ambled along the pathways and stopped by one of the giant trees, where I offered to take a photo of the two of them, using their camera. The towering height of the trees blocked out all but tiny shafts of light that filtered through … definitely a low-light environment.

As I pressed the button on the camera, a bright light exploded into my field of vision, causing me to start.  We all looked at the photo through the tiny screen on the camera and saw a distinct splash of light, but it was too small to make out any details. 

I checked all around, noting the sun and shadows of the surrounding area, to see if there was anything that could have created it … nothing.  

My friends later forwarded the photo to me …

Cathedral Grove

Regardless of what one may believe about what it represents, there is no doubt there is a light form on this photo!  Something radiating light energy was apparently with us during our visit. 

And appears to be trying to run “off stage” before being caught on camera … Hah!  Gotcha!

Was this Ron?  Of this, I have no doubt.  It would be so like him to be right there with us during that amazing, heartfelt visit.

Can I prove it?  Of course not. 

But then, I really don’t have to ….


Monitor your photos for unusual lights, objects, and markings.  Before simply dismissing them as tricks of the light, dust spots, or just defects, take a closer look … and not just when you take the photo, but later, too.  Research shows some spirit images actually develop over time.

Pay special attention to photos that are particularly meaningful … perhaps the occasion or the subjects.  When you find unexplained images, it may be your loved one, or an angel or guide, demonstrating a show of support. 

As always, take a moment to acknowledge their message and thank them for their effort ….


Westport Arts Center here · August 21, 2022 at 3:04 PM

I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic.
I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding
more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

    spiritwright · August 21, 2022 at 3:45 PM

    I’m glad it could help and I wish you the best as you continue learning more!

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