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Cassadaga, Florida is considered the oldest active religious community in the Southeast. (AP Images)

Cassadaga: America’s Oldest Spiritualist Community

The mystics of the Florida village offer a connection to the spirits living among us and a portal into America’s religious past

Sikora has been a medium since she was 28. As a child she saw her deceased grandmother at the foot of her bed every night, she tells me after my reading. Her parents told her she was dreaming, and she tried to put it out of her mind until she discovered Spiritualism as an adult through a friend. Medium work is draining, she says. It can be exhausting knowing everyone's business, and she makes a point of forgetting everything after each reading. She gathers her information from an individual’s spirits and her own spirit guides, as well as from an individual's aura and the earth vibrations he or she exudes.

During my reading Sikora describes my interests and family with surprising detail, and I leave wondering whether she really did connect with my deceased grandmothers. She is no fortune-teller, though. Mostly she discusses who I am, not who I will become. Was it for real? I don't know. But sometimes this is all the direction one needs.

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