Ash Talks LGBTQ Spirituality and Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet with The Big Seance

Ash Talks LGBTQ Spirituality and Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet with The Big Seance

Ash Talks LGBTQ Spirituality and Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet with The Big Seance

A couple of weeks ago, I got together with with Slade Roberson of the Shift Your Spirits Podcast and Patrick Keller of The Big Seance Podcast and we had a three-way “triangle table” discussion on LGBTQ spirituality, coming out of the (spiritual) closet and how to make spirituality more accessible to the elusive straight male.

I’ve appeared on both podcasts previously (and you can catch those episodes here). This was by far my favorite podcast interview, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

In this episode:

Episode Teaser :00

Intro 1:00

Some improvements, thanks to Patreon Support1:33

Some background on how this episode and conversation came about. 2:16

How are Patrick and both of our return guests connected? Ash is a connector. Slade is a matchmaker. 3:43

Patrick met Ash online during the “information gathering phase” of his “spiritual shift.” Ash then introduced Patrick to Slade and his work. 8:31

Ash brought the team together for this “triangle table.” The topic started out as a joke in a planning discussion, but ended up being something everyone decided to roll with. What’s up with the lack of straight men in the spiritual/metaphysical community? 11:51

Slade’s take on the initial question. Reincarnation, witch trials, and where the term “faggot” came from. 13:25

The suppression of the feminine: Susan Grace and the 2,000-year reign of men that ends in 2020. 15:58

The feminine archetype 19:23

Those who are excluded from a social order have to become more resourceful. 21:28

Straight men who are allies of the feminine and the spiritual are the real deal! Unfortunately, they’re all married. Ha! 23:15

Patrick’s take. Being “out” is important! 25:29

Healing the Mother Wound and toxic masculinity/femininity 28:52

Unraveling and falling apart 30:26

The Spiritualist Movement, Women’s Suffrage, and the Me Too Movement 32:44

Being “psy-curious”: The similarities of coming out of the spiritual closet and coming out as gay 35:40

When the response to you coming out is not good 40:35

Fear of acceptance, conversations at the Xerox machine (or the water cooler), and making others comfortable enough to share their stories 43:23

The dangers of coming out 47:03

Bigotry sometimes goes both ways 48:34

Making straight men feel welcome 51:20

“Everybody wants to be able to see someone in a space that looks like them.” 53:39

Are you a straight, psy-curious man who is looking for love? “Get thyself to a spirit circle!” 54:28

Catching up with Ash and what’s going on in her world 57:27

A whole different take on Stranger Angels over at Plus, “Be relentlessly helpful.” 59:54

A special THANK YOU to Patreon supporters at the Super Paranerd and Parlor Guest level! 1:05:50

Outro 1:07:23

#Paranerd Hashtag 1:09:00

For more on Patrick Keller and Slade Roberson:

The Big Seance Podcast

Slade Roberson’s previous appearance on The Big Seance Podcast (Episode 125) and

The Big Seance Podcast on Facebook

@BigSeance on Twitter

@BigSeance on Instagram

Shift Your Spirits on Facebook

@SladeRoberson on Twitter



This Week I Reintegrated A Past Life Soul Fragment

This Week I Reintegrated A Past Life Soul Fragment

This Week I Reintegrated A Past Life Soul Fragment

It’s been an intriguing and emotionally intense week for me. I haven’t written about anything terribly metaphysical in nature in quite some time, but then again, I haven’t had a lot of terribly metaphysical experiences lately… until this past Monday.

I’ve gotten in the daily habit of doing very lengthy meditations the past few weeks, typically an hour to and hour and a half. And as I’ve mentioned in the past here and there, I’ve also been using marijuana to facilitate a more open energetic state. I don’t necessarily need it, but it does get me into alpha state much more quickly and I can reach a pretty deep state of meditation.

I never meditate without intention. It’s not the “clear your mind” sort of goal. I meditate for the expressed purpose of seeking psychic information and to gain understanding around whatever is going on in my life at the moment, and my meditations are never disappointing.

On Monday, I was meditating about something else entirely when I tripped over a past-life land mine. It was shown to me for a reason – it’s very deeply connected to the root of the thing I was meditating on.

I’ve seen and dreamed about dozens of my past lives, and I’ve even done a past life regression with a professional hypnotherapist, but this experience was so much more vivid than any of them. It’s what I expected a past life regression to be like. I experienced the emotion of it like I was there. It felt like a real memory, like it just happened yesterday. In the grand scheme of linear time, I suppose it was like it was yesterday. The life immediately preceding this one, chronologically speaking – World War II.

I was a woman, maybe the same age as I am now or younger, and I was with a man that I loved. I’m talking Nicholas Sparks novel level love. He joined the army at some point and left for Europe. We wrote letters to each other while he was away. He was a Steve Rogers-type who wanted to save the world – I felt a strong sense of nostalgia as that thought surfaced – and that’s what he set off to do…but he never came home.

He died in the war, and she died inside. The horror that he saw there, it broke him into a million pieces. He didn’t want to come home to her like that…but she didn’t know.

Then I saw him standing in front of me in his uniform, and for a moment, I was her. It felt like I was looking at someone who’d been raised from the dead, and all of the grief and the loss and despair welled up inside me and mixed with happiness and love, and I cried for two and a half hours. I went to bed and woke up the next morning and cried some more.

His soul was with her for the rest of her life after he died. She just didn’t know. It’s still with her now.

The weight of it got to me. I started thinking about the war in general and the energetic scar it’s left on earth. Eighty five million people died. Eight five million. Imagine the weight of the collective grief of the wives, children, friends, mothers and fathers of 85 million dead, combined with the violence and trauma of all of those deaths, and the trauma carried by the survivors.

It’s so heavy. And it wasn’t that long ago. That’s how the emotional energy of the whole experience felt – like it was just under the surface of my skin, like I was still there, feeling it. It was so powerful and so heavy that I had to call in sick to work the next day. I couldn’t stop crying. Not just a sort of weepy tear here and there..full on gut-wrenching sobs. I wouldn’t be surprised if my neighbors could hear me.

Over the next few days, it felt like she was still with me – inside me, as though I had absorbed the frame of mind and emotions of another person. I could see her, seeing him. He was tall and a bit lanky, with dark wavy hair and brown eyes. She was petite with short, reddish brown hair and green eyes – like mine now. I could feel how they felt about one another. They loved each other so much, in such a beautiful way, and they were so happy together. I could feel the way he looked at her and the overwhelming adoration, love, and affection. She was his everything. He was her everything. I could feel her thoughts. I could feel her despair over the loss of him.

She never recovered. She lived the rest of her life – maybe another 20-30 years – lonely with a broken heart, partly because her heart with still with him, and partly because she was too afraid to give it to someone else for fear of feeling that loss all over again. She died in her fifties or sixties.

Soul Fragmentation

I’ve never experienced anything like this before, so I consulted with a few different people to try to get some perspective, mostly because I needed to be a functioning human being again! The general consensus seems to be that I was processing the reintegration of a soul fragment from a past life.

Soul fragments occur during times of extreme trauma. There’s a lot of varying info out there on it from a shamanic perspective, but my personal take is that when a soul experiences unprocessed trauma and the person passes away, the heaviest pieces of that energy stay earthbound, in a sense, thus “fragmenting” the energy from the higher self. It’s never disconnected, but it remains unintegrated and unresolved. Living people might experience these fragments as ghosts and hauntings.

When the soul reincarnates into another lifetime and is attempting to work through similar energetic patterns, they may experience what I’ve been speaking about but without knowing where it’s coming from or why. I believe this is what a lot of psychics and healers label as “entity attachments.” In many instances, these things are viewed as negative and scary, like some rando spirit is out to suck the life out of you. But when you realize they’re actually an aspect of self from a traumatized past life that’s attempting to be integrated and healed, it’s a lot less sensational, and a lot less scary.

So As It Turns Out, I’m A Human Horcrux…

I continued to meditate and work on releasing the emotional energy from that life throughout the week and there were some interesting additional developments. It appeared as though both souls involved here were fragmented. The trauma he experienced in the war was so heavy that it broke off into many heavy fragments. It seems as though the higher self chose to reincarnate in the next lifetime (this time period) and attempt to work through that trauma in a different way.

One fragment, however, remained with her. I don’t know the rhyme or reason behind it, only that somehow it was with her. It felt a bit like she was hanging onto the good part of him as way to counteract her own pain. Since that fragment was never integrated, it stayed with her, and subsequently, with me, but I had no way of knowing that until I became aware of that life.

With that knowledge, I did a meditation to release and return that fragment to it’s rightful owner. I assumed that there would be more release and processing involved afterward. Think of that fragment as being a blockage, like a cork in a bottle. Nothing can get out until it’s removed. So any unhealed trauma that she had related to that attachment would have to be processed as well.

Even the next day, I was still very connected to the grief and sadness, so it seemed as though there was still work to be done, and that work seemed to be around forgiveness. Forgiveness toward him for leaving, forgiveness for self for being angry about it, and forgiveness for himself for the things he did while he was at war. With that in mind, my next meditation revolved around healing and releasing that heaviness. I started crying instantly. I cried again the next morning and true to fashion, that raw, drained feeling you have after a long cry stuck with me until about 3:00 that afternoon.

Soul Retrieval

As I was discussing the situation with a friend earlier that morning, I said, “I keep getting stuck there, in that time, with those feelings. I keep trying to remind myself that he’s not dead.” For whatever reason, that triggered something and an intuitive light bulb went off in my head. I’d given back one soul fragment – the most important one, the one that felt like his heart and all that was good and loving in him. That was her memory of him and it was what she’d been hanging onto all this time – but there were more, and he wouldn’t be complete or able to heal until they’d all been returned. In essence, we had to bring him back from the dead, spiritually speaking.

Soul retrieval is a common shamanic practice which typically involves the shaman going into a deep meditation to retrieve the soul fragment from spirit world, bringing it back to the individual and returning the essence to it’s proper place.

I’d never done this before or even thought much about it, but then again, I’d never done distance healing before, either, and the results were prolific on all occasions, so I’m pretty much down for anything at this point. It all boils down to ritual and intention in the end.

So Friday night, my new spirit passenger and I settled in for a long meditation and a single mission: to find and return the missing pieces of her beau and put Humpty Dumpty back together again. No need for all the kings horses or men, as I’m pretty sure they’re the ones that got us into this mess in the first place. Former selfie and I were Thelma and Louiseing this shit from here on out.

I smoked a bit and settled in for yet another hour and a half meditation, invited home girl step in and off we went to find the love of her life. I’ve done this enough now to know how to just sit back and observe the visuals that come forward. You let them lead you instead of trying to force it to go where you want. Visually, I saw what looked like hundreds of shards of glass from a broken mirror pulling together to create a human visage. Slowly, that visage shifted into an image of him, and once again, I was her, looking through her eyes at him and feeling what she felt. There was so much relief, so much love. I started crying again. It was a homecoming, and that’s how it felt. She was his home. He was hers.

And as I saw this and felt this, a song popped into my head:

Hozier – Work Song
Boys workin’ on empty
Is that the kind’a way to face the burning heat?
I just think about my baby
I’m so full of love I could barely eat
There’s nothing sweeter than my baby
I’d never want once from the cherry tree
‘Cause my baby’s sweet as can be
She give me toothaches just from kissin’ me

When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her

Boys when my baby found me
I was three days on a drunken sin
I woke with her walls around me
Nothin’ in her room but an empty crib
And I was burnin’ up a fever
I didn’t care much how long I lived
But I swear I thought I dreamed her
She never asked me once about the wrong I did

When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her

When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her

My baby never fret none
About what my hands and my body done
If the lord don’t forgive me
I’d still have my baby and my babe would have me
When I was kissing on my baby
And she put her love down soft and sweet
In the lowland plot I was free
Heaven and hell were words to me

When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her

When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her

Messages through songs are common to me. I typically wake up with a song in my head most days. Sometimes songs I’ve never heard before, and sometimes songs that don’t exist. This one, as many of them are, was perfect.

I saw her look at me and say, “Thank you.” It was so emotional, but in such a good way this time.

I can’t say with 100% certainty, but I think it’s highly possible that this life is where my abandonment issues stem from. The sudden death of the love of your life can create a lot of loneliness and resentment, particularly when he chooses, of his own volition, to leave you and run head long into a situation that promises a high likelihood of death. I can’t imagine the kind of fear and anxiety she lived with for however long he was gone, the relief she must have felt each time she received a new letter from him, or the sinking feeling of impending doom when they stopped coming. But the other thing that he showed me which she didn’t know, was that he didn’t just go to war to save the world. He went to war to save her. He was afraid of what would happen if and when the war came knocking on their doorstep, and rather than watch it lay waste to all that he loved, he chose to do all that was humanly possible to protect it. He sacrificed his own humanity, and ultimately, his life for it. That was his frame of mind.

And it’s funny, because as I’m writing this last bit, “I Bet My Life” by Imagine Dragons is playing. Check out the lyrics by clicking on the link. They’re fitting.

Goddamnit. I’m crying again.

Astral Projection

Astral Projection

Astral Projection

I started this post yesterday morning and began filling in some of my personal stories and quickly realized I had way too many to recount them all in a single post, so I decided to break them into two, but today as I write, it just keeps getting longer, so I suppose I’ll save dream walking for part three. Here’s part two on astral projection!

A lot of people use the terms OBE and astral projection interchangeably, which can be confusing, but to be honest, the two are a little more fluid than you think. As I mentioned yesterday, OBEs typically occur under two types of circumstances – fully conscious or fully unconscious. The common unifying theme between the two is that they occur within this plane of existence. In other words, the soul leaves the body, but it’s still in the same dimension as the body (if you’re wondering what I mean when I say “dimension,” this is a helpful blog post to read [<—click]).

With astral projection, you can also be lucid, or totally unconscious, or somewhere in between but you’re usually not fully in this dimension. What I mean by that is, with an OBE, everything around you looks the same as it does when you’re in your body. With Astral projection, it typically doesn’t, if you’re even “here” at all. I’ll talk more about that in a bit.

“Symptoms” of Astral Projection

Astral projection typically happens at night while you are sleeping and there are all sorts of physical sensations associated with it.

Most people are only aware of the feeling when they return to the body. When you wake up suddenly feeling like you just sunk into your mattress, or have the feeling of falling and your whole body feels tingly. All of these are common feelings associated with returning to the body.

The tingly feeling is also a very common one when you’re about to leave the body. Many times loud noises can be associated with both entering and exiting. I used to wake up hearing a rumbling or a crash and think a shelf had fallen in the middle of the night or that someone had knocked over a garbage can outside, only to discover nothing amiss. Sometimes it would sound like a door slammed or someone standing next to the bed had clapped. I’ve started to associate these sounds with coming back in from astral projection.

I’ve also experienced the rumbling just prior to leaving. My very first fully conscious astral projection occurred in the middle of the night after I had woken up and was laying there trying to fall back to sleep (this is when I have a lot of them, actually – at least that’s when I tend to remember them).

I woke up at 4 a.m. and was laying there with my eyes closed trying to fall back to sleep. I saw a bright flash in my head, kind of like an old school flash bulb camera. Then I heard what sounded like thunder, except it was inside my head. Then I felt a tingling sensation start from the top of my head and flow down my entire body, and as it went, it was like my body fell asleep, but my mind never did.

Suddenly I felt a floating sensation and felt myself going up…up….up. And it was uncontrollable. Then, all of the sudden, I was floating up at the ceiling and looking down at the bed.

Here But Not “Here”

Earlier I mentioned that with astral projection, you may not be fully in this dimension. That mean that you may be able to see what’s here, but it may not look quite the same.

After comparing notes with several other people who have done quite a bit of astral projection, one common thing that more than one person has reported about being “here” but in the astral version of “here” is that often times, the scenery seems to be covered in a black veil. Very small details may be slightly different.

Continuing the story I was telling earlier, I found myself looking down at the bed from the vantage point of the ceiling. It was very dark in the room – darker than usual. After I stopped completely freaking out, I realized that I must be astral projecting and decided to do what everybody who astral projects does… go exploring!

It was Christmas time when this happened and we had the house decorated. I went downstairs and passed one of our trees, which in real life, should have been lit. It was on a timer and set to turn off at five in the morning. But it wasn’t lit. I went into the living room and was about to try to go out the back door.

Given that I was in my astral body, physical objects shouldn’t be an issue. You’d think you would just float right through them – but when I tried going “through” the back door, it felt solid. Then my step-daughter’s alarm clock started going off. I could hear it and in a split second, I was back in my body, upstairs, in bed. I looked at the clock and it was 4:20. Twenty minutes has passed and it felt like less than five. (As an aside, I think the reason I wasn’t able to leave my house was because my guides were keeping me in a safe place in order to see how I would react to that type of situation. Think of it as training. The kind you don’t sign up for. lol)

Moving When Out of Body

When I say I “went downstairs,” what I really mean is that I floated downstairs. I had never done this before – at least not consciously, so I was attempting to move around just as I would if I were walking. Except I moved just by thinking about moving. I thought about moving in increments – going out the bedroom door, into the hall, down the stairs – but if I had simply thought of being downstairs, I would have been there in a split second. It’s as simple as a change in perspective, or like cutting to a new scene in a movie. You think it and you’re there.

You don’t even really have to be all in the same place at the same time, either. In another experience I had while taking an afternoon nap, I felt someone actually come and get me and pull me out of my body. That’s something that I have experienced pretty often, but it’s usually at night and I only remember the first few seconds of being out of body before falling unconscious. This time, it was during the day and I was lucid for every detail.

They – whoever they were, I assume a guide, as I couldn’t see them, just feel them – had me by the wrist and I was being pulled up, up, up… higher and higher. I assume we were traveling to the outer levels of the astral plain.

I ended up in something that was straight out of – well, a dream. It was a floating Japanese dojo in the sky. While I was there – I was actually thinking about being somewhere else. I was thinking about seeing a friend, and I found myself there – actually, I found myself in two other places simultaneously, besides the dojo where I currently was. I was walking with the person I was thinking about outside somewhere where there were mountains, talking, and I was also standing in front of them while they were at work. I could see them sitting at their desk working on a computer, but they couldn’t see me. I touched them on the face, but they didn’t react.

I think that I was in all of these places at the same time, but because our brains process things in linear fashion, they appeared to me more like scenes that were spliced in, and that’s how I experienced them.

Levels of Consciousness

While I was in the dojo, I was very conscious and lucid, but it was different. Typically when you’re lucid in a dream, you become aware that you are dreaming and are able to control the dream – but you’re still “you” for all intents and purposes.

While I was in the dojo, I was totally lucid, but I wasn’t attempting to make things happen. I was still sort of just experiencing it, but I had also lost all thoughts and memories of who I was here on earth. I also didn’t really have a need for control. It’s hard to explain, I guess. It’s just a very different level of consciousness from what you experience while in your body, or while dreaming, or even while lucid dreaming.

When it was time to come back, I found myself descending in a hot air balloon, and then I “woke up” in a bed in a house… very “Dorothy returns from Oz” feeling, except this was part actually was a dream. I was no longer lucid or conscious. Just dreaming. And then I woke up again, but for real this time. It was as if I was coming back down through varying levels of consciousness before fully waking up.

Astral Projection Techniques

If you’re interested in learning astral projection for yourself, there’s a lot of information out there. I was lucky enough to sit through a talk by William Buhlman of the Monroe Institute (where they study astral projection) where he gave us a seminar on some of his own techniques. He’s got lots of books that you can purchase and there’s plenty of information at the Monroe Institute website.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Out of Body Experiences

Out of Body Experiences

Out of Body Experiences

I‘m a little bit surprised that I’ve had this blog for over two years now and I’ve yet to write a post about or even receive a question submission regarding out of body experiences and/or astral projection – thought I know that we’ve discussed it a few times in various groups here and there.

More people have experienced OBEs than you’d ever think, and to be honest, all of you astral project pretty much every single night. You just don’t usually remember it.

Out of body experiences, astral projection and dream walking are, effectively, all the same thing – or at least, they are experiences that occur by the same mechanism: when your consciousness (a.k.a. soul) leaves the body. The difference is that they tend to occur under differing levels of consciousness.

The Typical Out of Body Experiences (OBE)

The most commonly talked about experience of OBE is during a near-death or traumatic event. People often report being in operating rooms and looking down on themselves from the ceiling, hearing conversations happening and seeing people doing things when their bodies are completely unconscious and there’s no possible way they could be seeing and hearing the things they talk about.

If you’re interested in learning more about these kinds of experiences, I highly recommend looking into the work of Dr. Raymond Moody, who coined the phrase “Near Death Experience” and has been researching these occurrences for more than 40 years.

I’ve met several people – and even have a close personal friend – who have had such experiences.

The Spontaneous OBE

The other, less common type of OBE is the kind that occurs spontaneously for seemingly no reason what-so-ever. Many people report being in their body one minute and the next minute, they are looking at themselves from the outside. A lot of times, they are so startled by the experience that they pop right back into their body.

One of the first memories I can recall from my entire life is actually one of these spontaneous OBEs – I remember looking at myself from behind and seeing me standing next to my grandmother, holding her hand while talking to someone and holding up my other hand to tell them that I was two years old.

In part 2,  I’ll continue talking about OBEs and how they relate to astral projection and dream walking and share some of my personal experiences with both.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

How to Know How Many Past Lives You’ve Had

How to Know How Many Past Lives You’ve Had

How to Know How Many Past Lives You’ve Had

Question from a reader:

“I wanted to know if I had past lives and if so how many?”

Interesting question to ask. Allow me to bend your mind a little bit…

You want to know if you have past lives and if so, how many. Having a life that occurs in the past assumes a certain linearity in the flow of time itself and it assumes that your lives happen in a linear, chronological order and it assumes that there is a beginning to this time and that there is an end to this time.

All of those assumptions hinge on the existence of time, but, as I’ve covered a few times before – time does not exist. It’s an illusion. 

If you click that link, it will take you to one of my older blog posts explaining why and even link you to a video by theoretical physicist (and my nerd crush) Brian Greene explaining the science behind it.

So what are the implications of that on the concept of incarnation? Effectively what it means is that all of your lives – past, present and future – actually exist in the “now.”  They all exist simultaneously, and instead of thinking of them in terms of where they are in “time” (past/present/future), you could instead think of them in terms of where they are in time/space.

I wrote another post giving a visual example of what simultaneous lives looks like that you can read here.

When you take these things into account, the question of “Have I had a past life and if so, how many?” becomes null and void. Thinking about it in those linear terms may make it easier to grasp, but it also puts a lot of limitations on your expectations about what your soul is capable of.

Another great post I would refer my readers to, after checking out the two linked above, is this one about spirit communication and reincarnation.

Hope this was helpful. If it made your brain hurt, then that’s a good thing – it means we’re stretching your mind. 😉

Your Definitive Guide to Debunking Orbs: Lens Flares

Your Definitive Guide to Debunking Orbs: Lens Flares

Your Definitive Guide to Debunking Orbs: Lens Flares

As you may have noticed by now, tons of people are interested in photographing orbs and people online are constantly posting photos where they’ve captured something on camera that appears to be out of the ordinary, wondering whether or not they’ve photographed an orb. This post is dedicated to debunking orbs that are, in fact, a natural photography phenomenon known as lens flares.

The VAST majority of the photos that I’ve seen are not of a paranormal nature and are quite easily debunked by a single phenomena – lens flares. Not only are they explainable, they’re also extremely easy to replicate as I will be showing you here in this blog post.

Debunking Orbs: What’s a Lens Flare?

Lens flares are simply light that is being reflected through the multiple glass pieces within your camera lens when there is an outside light source (aside from your camera’s own flash) in the photo such as the sun, the moon, a lamp, fire, a flashlight, or even your own camera’s flash being reflected in a mirror. A modern camera lens is actually an assemblage of multiple lenses called elements and housed in a barrel, like so:

A lens flare is created when lighted reflects off of one or more than one of these many lenses. The more light you have your camera set to allow in, the more pronounced the flares will be. If you shoot with a lens hood, you can prevent the glare entirely.

Here are two of my engagement photos. One of them was shot specifically to use lens flares for a creative effect. In the other, the settings were changed to allow less light.

The result – lens flares:


No lens flares:

Flares Everywhere!
Once you start to notice lens flares, you can literally see them EVERYWHERE and debunking orbs becomes pretty easy. The photo below is a screen cap from a car commercial in which you will see several lens flares resulting from the sun in the top left corner of the screen.


They also appear frequently in commercials, TV shows and movies these days – much to the annoyance of some fans. JJ Abrams, for example, is notorious for his usage of lens flares in his movies. So notorious, in fact, someone created an entire YouTube video explaining how lens flares are created, all in the context of JJ Abrams movies.

Yes – lens flares can even occur in space. This is a photo snapped and posted to Twitter (from space) by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station of the sun setting over Earth’s horizon.


Lens flares can occur in any type of camera. The photo below was taken with my iPhone.


These photos were taken with my iPhone. I used an arrow to point out some of the less obvious flares that you might not notice such as the corona (the big circle around the light source -in this case, the sun) and the infamous “green orb” that so many people capture on their own photos and ask about later, as they tend to not notice it as they are taking the photo.

In the top right photo, you don’t notice the green orb because the angle of the camera has it “far away” so it’s very small, whereas the photo below it, it is “up close” so it appears much larger. The flares will be exaggerated and change shape depending on the angle you are holding the camera.

Orbs 1

As mentioned above, these can actually be caught on film as well, and I’ve seen people mistake them for real orbs or UFOs. In the video below, I show you how the “green orb” moves around with your camera.

Debunking Orbs in the Day Time

For these photos, I used my DSLR, which allows me a lot more camera settings (and contains a lot more lenses) than my iPhone, so you can get an entirely different look from the lens flares.

In the photo on the bottom right, I showed you how even light being reflected off of a reflective surface can still create a lens flare. That’s the sun reflecting off of my neighbor’s back window and into my camera. This can also occur with mirrors or any other shiny surface.

lens flares

Another bit that can show up in photos with a bright light source is light reflecting off of dust or insects in the air that you don’t notice until you’ve snapped the photo. The arrows below are pointing this out. I could actually see these floating around with my naked eye, but the camera exaggerates it quite a bit.

Below are a few more videos I made to show you how this can occur with various degrees of light and different light sources. The first two are from candle flames, and the last one is from the full moon.

Debunking Orbs in the Dark

Obviously the bigger the light source, the greater the flare, so if you were to do this same thing with a bonfire, for example, you would have a much greater effect.

So, the next time you capture something on film that you’ve never seen before, ask yourself: Is there a sun/moon/lamp/mirror/window/candle/fire or any other possible light source in the frame or just outside it? If so, then you have most likely created a lens flare.

If you find yourself thinking, “But mine doesn’t look like these!” that’s ok – these are just a few of the myriad of examples of lens flares. Just do a quick google of “examples of lens flares” and weed through all the JJ Abrams jokes to find several additional examples. I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to debunking orbs, and perhaps learned a thing or two!

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