Spring & Summer, 2011
"Philistine Hall" is our office at the Cornell Cooperative building, 21 S. Grove St., East Aurora, NY. This is right across the street to the west from the Roycroft Inn. "Phil Hall" is where most of our events take place.
Check the calendar page of this website for a list of our activities. In general, we have discussion groups, a writers' group, and readers' nights, all of them convening monthly. Admission to all is free, though if you want a reading on readers' night, the reader will charge a fee. We also have occasional talks, workshops, and lectures, and are planning our 2011 conference for somet
The Spirit Way Project
Spirit Way Project – formed May 2008 - is a Buffalo, NY, based group of illuminated friends who assess, teach and preserve the psychic-spiritual heritage of upstate New York and the Niagara Frontier. Founded by Algonquin elder Michael Bastine and author-researcher Mason Winfield, Spirit Way Project's interests are “the sacred, the psychic, the spiritual, the paranormal.” Our major focus is Seneca country, the New York territory of the Phelps-Gorham/Holland Purchase. That's where we all live. But what is the limit of human spirituality? The survey is otherwise boundless.
Our work occasionally overlaps into that of the “ghosthunters.” We study occasional significant sites and incidents of suspected hauntings and psychic activity. We visit “haunted houses.” We develop special cases and keep research files about many others. But that is only a small part of our work.
Our main point is the big picture, enriching human understanding and spirituality by a broad focus on a small region. It's the general (research and understanding), not the specific (investigation and validation). The big picture is regional, global, and spiritual. What we learn about upstate New York is relevant to the human and to the global psyche.
We take reports, traditions and displays of psychic phenomena to be manifestations, flowers in a bed, that may help us someday to understand a garden, and at least teach others why the whole picture is valuable. Our region’s psychic legacy is its human legacy.
We are authors, healers, researchers, ministers, dowsers, astrologers, mediums, readers. We are “out of the box” thinkers. As an association, we are psychic-spiritual generalists. We are cultural preservationists. We are also teachers.
We are specialists in many areas. We know the psychic and paranormal from perspectives that include history, architecture, folklore, geology, astrology, geomancy and religion. We understand the logic and terminology of parapsychology, and apply those insights to all we survey. We incorporate perspectives from world traditions of folklore, religion and spirituality: African-American, Asian, Celtic, Christian, Native American, Spiritualist, Wiccan. We look for patterns and overlap.
We have discussion groups. They meet once a month to talk about different paranormal topics. It's part of our mission to be teachers and facilitators, to create community.
We have a writer's group, Full Moon Mondays. We meet likewise once a month, on the Monday closest to the full moon. We confer about each others' writing. The rules are: short pieces - 1.5 pages - of prose or poetry, and devoted to some mystical, spiritual, or intuitive subject. A dream. A paranormal experience. A vision. A meditation. So far Mason Winfield has presided at every meeting, and it's always a very inspirational evening. What a collection of people!
Our partnership is titled after one of the traditional nicknames of the Burned-over District, the small area of upstate New York whose 19th and 20th century legacy of religious energy – both mainstream and alternative – is one of the more remarkable social developments in American history. Surely it says something about the nature and the people of a region; figuring out what - and telling others – is the key to who we, Spirit Way Project, are.