George Vale Owen header
GVO - a Spiritist overview:

(This description of George Vale Owen's work is from the NorthWest Spiritism website at:


The Rev. G. Vale Owen, or G.V.O. to his friends and congregation was a Church of England minister who psychographed messages from spirit world, in the 1920s. His works correspond with previous Spiritist writings by Allan Kardec and the future works by Francisco (Chico) C. Xavier. His books revealed many levels of heaven and the life of the spirits around us.

Helped by the Spirit World
One never knows what you will find when reading a Spiritist book. Sometimes I have to read a book twice to find a hidden meaning or a nugget of truth I didn’t realize at first. When I see a name mentioned I often look it up, trying to find connections between what spirits say and my world.

I learned about Emanuel Swedenborg when his name was mentioned during a speech by a wise spiritSwedenborg in a lecture in the celestial city of Nosso Lar. It was an exciting personal discovery about a man who preceded Alan Kardec in his revelations about the spirit world. He brought the concept that we are the same after death to the courts of Europe in the 1700s. He introduced many Spiritist precepts before they were codified by Mr. Kardec.

I first heard the name of Rev. G. Vale Owen in an even more circuitous manner. I was sitting in my comfortable armchair reading, when my wife, who was sitting on her chair on the other side of a small table spoke to me about a book she just finished.

She regularly reviews Spiritist books she had read because there are many only in print in Portuguese. While I can speak the language a little, reading anything more complex than a quick newspaper article is beyond me. Therefore, she discusses any new ideas she has gathered with me.

She was almost at the end of the book Voltei, when she mentioned to me about a party of spirits who were meeting with the spirit author of the book, to let him know he should continue the work for Spiritism that has had done while in a physical body. My wife read the list of participants, which included Emmanuel, the spirit mentor of Chico Xavier, Andre Luiz, the spirit author of many books, Dr. Bezzara De Menezes, considered to be the father of the Spiritist movement in Brazil.

At first I attempted to ignore her, so I could continue to finish putting my thoughts down on my laptop. She persisted, so I tried to satisfy her with a nod and a grunt. Evidently it wasn’t enough, so she put the book in my view and told me to look at the list of invitees.

I quickly glanced at the parade of names and truthfully it was impressive. Many of the spirits who have either been leading the effort to establish Spiritism in Brazil while incarnate, since passed, or in spirit form were in attendance. Most had typical Brazilian names, except the last one; Vale Owen, Rev. G.[1]

Spotting that incongruent name intrigued me. Who was this reverend who attended an event with the leading proponents of Spiritism in the spheres above our planet? I dropped what I was doing and searched for his name.

I quickly found out the basic facts from Wikipedia:

“Vale Owen was born in Birmingham, England, the eldest son of George Owen, a chemist and druggist, and his wife Emma. He was educated at the Midland Institute and Queen’s College, Birmingham (a predecessor college of Birmingham University). In 1893 he was ordained by the Bishop of Liverpool as curate in the parish of Seaforth, in Liverpool. He became curate successively at Fairfield in 1895 and St Matthew’s, Scotland Road, in 1897, both also in Liverpool. In 1900 he became vicar of Orford, Warrington, where he created a new church, which was built in 1908, and worked there until 1922.

The death of his mother in 1909 awoke his psychic abilities and he began to receive psychic communication in 1913. He received messages via a process known as automatic writing, which can be defined as writing performed without conscious thought or deliberation, typically by means of spontaneous free association or as a medium for spirits or psychic forces.

Given the impact on him of the information he received in this way, he converted to Spiritualism.”[2]

He converted to Spiritualism, no mention of Spiritism. While Spiritualism is similar in many respects, Spiritism consistently follows the lead of Allan Kardec in the basic messages. Subsequent Spiritist books are meant to supplement and provide us more information. Spiritism isn’t meant to be static, but a dynamic supply of knowledge from the spirit realm to us, to be parceled out as we advance enough to comprehend the message.

Reading that I decided to investigate no further, since he didn’t seem to be in the Spiritist mainstream while on earth. Then I picked up the book Voltei again and looked at the front page to see when the book was first written. I found a handwritten inscription from my wife’s and I delightful mentor at the Seara Fraterna Spiritist center in Rio de Janeiro. Her name is Juraci and I had learned to follow her advice implicitly, since when I resisted, something always happened to me to get back on track and do what she had politely mentioned.

7Tenets-Front-smallOver the years I had learned to read the signs given to me from the spirit plane. Seeing the insistence of my wife and the origin of the book, unmistakably told me to push forward and not to cease my research. If you would like to read about my personal experience with spirits guiding my life, it is all in my book, 7 Tenets of Spiritism – How They Impact Your Daily Life.

The Beginning
Reverend G. Vale Owen (G.V.O. to his friends) was reluctant to believe what he felt coming from the spirit world was true. He tells us:

“There is an opinion abroad that the clergy are very credulous beings. But our training in the exercise of the critical faculty places us among the most hard-to-convince when any new truth is in question. It took a quarter of a century to convince me – ten years that Spirit Communication was a fact, and fifteen that the fact was legitimate and good.”[3]

Vale Owen contemplated carefully about speaking to spirits. As a Vicar in the Anglican Church comporting with the other side is not a regular order of business. However, spirits were busy in sending vibrations to G.V.O. to deliver positive feelings and thoughts so he could make his free-will choice to begin in earnest the job of educating humanity about the life which awaits them after death:

“From the moment I had taken this decision, the answers began to appear. First my wifegvale-book developed the power of automatic writing. Then through her I received requests that I would sit quietly, pencil in hand, and take down any thoughts which seemed to come into my mind projected there by some eternal personality and not consequence on the exercise of my own mentality. Reluctance lasted a long time, but at last I felt that friends were at hand who wished very earnestly to speak with me. They did not overrule or compel my will in any way – that would have settled the matter at once, so far as I was concerned – but their wishes were made ever more plain.”[4]

Once he made his decision to begin psychographing, the process took some time to begin to make sense. G. Vale Owen tells us how he started:

“I felt at last that I ought to give them an opportunity, for I was impressed with the feeling that the influence was a good one, so, at last, very doubtfully, I decided to sit in my cassock in the Vestry after Evensong.

The first four or five messages wandered aimlessly from one subject to another. But gradually the sentences began to take consecutive form, and at last I got some which were understandable. From that time, development kept pace with practice. When the whole series of messages was finished I reckoned up and found that the speed had been maintained at an average of twenty-four words per minute.”[5]

When the communications from the spirit realm started, there was no turning back. Reading The Life Beyond the Veil, I could feel the urge to proceed to the next and the next message. Each interesting in beyondTheVeilitself, the whole builds into a narrative of the wonders of life in the spirit world. If I was in Vale Owen’s shoes, I doubt that after the first few nights of coherent communications, I could ever stop.

Being a Reverend for a small church in Orford, England brought no great compensation. Even though the money would have been welcomed to help his family, G. Vale Owen refused any payment, just like Chico Xavier did in Brazil.

His ideals in denying himself any monetary gain for writing impressed his fellow countrymen. An account of it is mentioned by G. Vale Owen’s son, the Rev. Eustace Owen, in writing about his father to the Greater World Association:

“In the book HE LAUGHED IN FLEET STREET, Bernard Falk describes a meeting between Lord Northcliffe and my father, in ‘The Times’ office, when the former asked him to accept £1,000 for publishing extracts from the Script in the ‘Weekly Despatch.’ He continues:

‘Vale Owen shook his head. For this part of his writings, he said, he could not take any money. He had been well paid by the publicity given him, and by being able to carry out the sacred duty of placing his revelations before the world. Knowing well Vale Owen’s poverty I was genuinely sorry to hear him refuse payment, but he was not to be dissuaded…’”[6]

Vale Owen knew that if received any money from his efforts he would be accused of falsely creating messages from the spirit world just for the purpose of profit.

Later, in the 1930’s the great Brazilian medium Chico Xavier was attacked by many as being one of a

Chico Xavier

large legion of imposters, whose only aim was to increase his personal wealth. Chico said that he could never fall down, since he never stood up, meaning that he couldn’t be charged as a person who only wants wealth because he never took money. All proceeds from his books were donated to charity. As a Spiritist, he knew that selling his services that he received as a gift from God is immoral.

Books by Rev. G. Vale Owen
Rev. G. Vale Owen wrote seven books. His first four books were published and then compiled into one edition. All were published in the 1920s.

The Life Beyond the Veil – is composed of the following four books.
The Lowlands of Heaven
The Highlands of Heaven
The Ministry of Heaven
The Battalions of Heaven
Outlands of Heaven – which actually contains two books, but were published in one edition.
The Children of Heaven
The Outlands of Heaven
Paul and Albert
The Lowlands of Heaven
The nightly writings that G. Vale Owen psychographed were first initiated by his deceased mother. She had died on June 8, 1909, at the age of sixty-three. During her life, she had never expressed interest in communicating with spirits.

The first entry in The Lowlands of Heaven is dated Tuesday, September 23, 1913. G.V.O.’s mother describes her home in heaven and her current occupation. Vale Owen asks her what her home is like:

“Earth made perfect. But of course what you call a fourth dimension does not exist here, in a way, and that hinders us in describing it adequately. We have hills and rivers and beautiful forests, and houses, too, and all the work of those who have come before us to make ready. We are at present at work, in our turn, building and ordering for those who must still for a little while continue their battle on earth, and when they come they will find all things ready and the feast prepared.”[7]

Vale Owen’s mother lived in the first sphere of heaven. This is where souls who have recently died and who are allowed entry into the celestial spheres first arrive. Much of the work accomplished is the direct assistance of spirits passing from life on earth or to those in the Lower Zones, or Umbra as the Brazilian Spiritist call it.

The description of life in this sphere has many similarities with descriptions in the Andre Luiz series of books psychographed by Francisco C. Xavier. There is less information about the teams of people who journey to earth to help incarnates. On the other hand there are excursions to others parts of this first level of heaven which tells us aspects not covered in other published accounts.

For example, a series of halls were described, an Orange Hall which contained all permutations of that color, then the Red Hall, which had every hue and gradient of red imaginable. Next Vale Owen’s mother told us the purpose of the halls:

“You are wondering to what purpose these building of crystal are put. They are for studying the effect of colors as applied to different departments of life, animal, vegetable and even mineral life, but the two former chiefly, together with clothing. For both the texture and the hue of our garments take their quality from the spiritual state and character of the wearer. Our environment is part of us, just as with you, and light is one component, and an important one, of our environment. Therefore, it is very powerful in its application, under certain conditions, as we saw it in these halls.

I am told the results of those studies are handed on to those who have charge of trees and other plant life on earth and other planets. But there are other results which are too rare in nature for such application to the grosser environment of earth and the other planets, so, of course, only a very small part of these studies is handed on in your direction.”[8]

There is much more information and accounts that tug at your heart as you are led over the landscape of heaven and the rescuing of souls who had lost hope and need direction.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a Spiritualist and fervently believed in the afterlife, wrote the introduction to The Life Beyond the Veil. Here is a short excerpt:

“And is it subversive of old beliefs? A thousand times No. It broadens them, it defines them, it beautifies them, it fills in the empty voids which have bewildered us, but save to narrow pedants of the exact word who have lost touch with the spirit, it is infinitely reassuring and illuminating.

How many fleeting phrases of the old Scriptures now take visible shape and meaning?

Do we not begin to understand that “House with many mansions,” And realize Paul’s “House not made with hands,” even as we catch some fleeting glance of that glory which the mind of man has not conceived neither has his tongue spoken?”[9]

As Allan Kardec’s books brought us an understanding of the spirit realm and our place within it, so has Reverend G. Vale Owen’s books presented a picture from a different angle, the same place, the same universe composed of an unimaginable varied landscape and levels. But an account with a different tone more like many of the books which would come after with the advent of the flood of information about ourselves and the spirit world by Chico Xavier.

The Lowlands of Heaven is an account of the love and dedication of the spirit world for us here on earth. It illustrates the enormous effort and organization which is responsible for our chaotic existence on our blue planet.

The Highlands of Heaven
A new narrator takes over, his name is Zabdiel and he resided in the tenth level of heaven. Zabdiel makes it clear that he is using just one method of classification of the many steps of heaven. He quite openly tells us that others have used different words for the hierarchy, but he uses the numbering system since it is simple and direct and easily understood.

Zabdiel takes us on a tour of many levels and the various functions of the higher spheres around our planet. He tells us one of the qualifications for entry:

“This is one of those things which make for difficulty in this life of the spheres. For not until a man has learned to love all without hating any is he able to progress in this land where love means light, and those who do not love move in dim places where they love their way, and often become so dull in mind and heart that their perception of the truth is as vague as that of outward things.”[10]

As with other spirits mentioned in Spiritist literature, Zabdiel is involved in helping others ascend. In one of the communications he is sent to help a brother and sister, who live on level ten, but aren’t making progress. Zabdiel asks the spirit, Bepel, who knows the background story concerning the couple, why is this so:

“Bepel smiled and replied, ‘You know the man who lives here, he and his sister. They came over from Spheres Eight and Nine some good while ago together. Here they progressed and, from time to time, have returned to the Fourth Sphere, where they have loved ones and, in especial, their parent. This they have done in order to help them onward. Lately they have come to be some little less at their case in these surrounding for the love they bear to those behind. It would seem that these are making their progress very slowly, and it will be long before they reach this estate. These two, therefore, await the coming of someone who has the authority to permit them depart to take up their abode with those they wish to help, in order that their more continual presence should be at the disposal of them to enable them onward.”[11]

This should serve to give you a flavor of the challenges of higher spirits. Dealing with the complexities of people’s desires, even when they are already in a relatively high position, takes wisdom and care for those who may be able to help.

The book also has passages which demonstrate the power of a spirit. How they use their mind to create, instead of manual labor.

The spirit realm, arranged G. Vale Owen to psychograph these important revelations to us, so we can see what is ahead of us and to truly comprehend that any sacrifice we make on earth to be a better person is well rewarded in the spirit world.

The Ministry of Heaven
A new group of spirits present themselves to G.V.O. at the beginning of The Ministry of Heaven. The manager of the group is known by the moniker, Leader. Stories similar to what Zabdiel told are presented.

There is also a long account of a group that is sent on a mission down to the Lower Zone, where they assist those who are undergoing intense suffering. This account is reminiscent of the book, Liberation, by the spirit Andre Luiz, psychographed by Francisco (Chico) C. Xavier.

The descriptions of the types of spirits, their physical forms and their attitudes align with what has been reported in Chico’s books and Allan Kardec’s interviews with poor spirits in their own purgatories in his book, Heaven and Hell.

The Battalions of Heaven
Arnel, the spirit who speaks to G. Vale Owen, tells more about life in the tenth level and fully describes a city that encompasses a university, in the fourth book. The majesty of Jesus Christ and the angels which surround him is documented in a moving narrative of His manifestation in the main center of the university.

One of the most compelling aspects of this book is the analysis of the power of Jesus and where it comes from. I haven’t detected this depth of explanation into the role and the extent of his reach in our part of the galaxy from other Spiritist literature I have read to date.

The Children of Heaven
The Children of Heaven explores the process of training children in the spirit world. The book delves in great detail the methods and techniques for raising children to become full citizens of the spirit realm.

The Outlands of Heaven
The Outlands of Heaven has varied stories, one of which reviews life in the third level of heaven. Another long group of passages analyzes the progress of a colony and some of the improvements and education which transpires in that growing community.There is also a scene about an elevation from the third level of heaven up to the fourth level.

Paul and Albert
The book Paul and Albert, is the story of a once selfish surgeon, who, having abused his position for the satisfaction of his own lesser self and often cruel nature, finds himself in an unfamiliar place.[12]

Paul wanders through what he considers Hell and struggles to exist in a dog-eat-dog world where others like him are sent so they may learn what it is like to be treated as they have treated others.

The book is described on the Christian Spiritualism website as:

“The narrative shows by graphically explained example that every action which has been committed must have its consequences, and that such consequences must be faced by the doer of the action. Thus, for example, we see that those who wilfully inflicted pain on others are in some cases subjected to having vicious and sickening ‘operations’ carried out on them by other equally cruel inhabitants who have learned how to control such situations; the pain is really felt, but the spiritual-body merely continues to live on. It is explained that some of the events in those dark conditions are beyond the power of description, and even if it was possible for them to be described, the content would be not be considered suitable by any reputable publisher.”[13]

What we have learned from the book Liberation, by Andre Luiz and other accounts of the innate cruelty and depravity of the Lower Zone and the Abyss are all on display in this account.

Rev. G. Vale Owen – Life After
The first four volumes were a great success and garnered admiration from many who were looking for spiritual guidance. In 1920, the English newspaper, The Weekly Dispatch, ran a serialized form of the communications that Mr. Vale Owen received. His books were quite popular.

Mr. Vale Owen managed to go on a lecture tour in America and the United Kingdom. He gave more than 150 lectures in Great Britain alone. The British newspaper, The Daily Mail, described the scene at one of his lectures:

“There were all sorts and conditions of people – clergy-men, Army officers, city men, girl typists, Covent Garden porters, women in working garb, women of leisure, widows in their weeds, laborers in corduroys. These and other types of humanity were all there. When he left the church Mr. Vale Owen was surrounded by men and women who grasped him by both hands. Men bared their heads and a number of women wept. When Mr. Vale Owen feed himself he stood on the steps and the hushed assemblage addressed a few simple words. As he descended the steps hundreds of people again rushed to greet him. It was with the greatest difficultly that his friends, clerical and lay, were abel to escort him to the rectory across the road. Thousands of people have written to Mr. Vale Owen congratulating him on his writings. Many people in yesterday’s congregation traveled specially from the north of England, Manchester and Leeds in particular, to hear his address.”[14]

The messages of love and the revelation of the extent of the spirits who surround and guide us, was too much for the officials of the Church of England, they removed G. Vale Owen from his parish in 1922. Thereby cutting off all income for G.V.O. and his family.

Only the kindness of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who organized a contribution from all of his fans was G. Vale Owen able to live the rest of his live from the proceeds of a trust fund. He died in 1931 at the age of 61.

The Rev. G. Vale Owen provided a great service for humanity. His dedication in working tirelessly every night, while still working as a Vicar for his church in Orford, is a testament to his love for us all. He began a spark of recognition of the spiritual universe in England. While it may seem to have died out in the heat and passion of World War Two, it started a trend line.

The spirit world tells us that progress isn’t a straight line but an upward spiral. It must began somewhere. Allan Kardec started Spiritism in France in the 1850’s, G.V.O. supplied another curve up in the 1920’s. Chico Xavier dramatically boosted the recognition and information about Spiritism starting in the 1930’s to the present day.

Learn about the spirit realm, your place in it and how we are guided to the path of learning. Read my series of three books, all based upon the writings of G. Vale Owen.

Heaven and Below

Spirits and the Spirit Universe

How we are Guided by Spirits

Brian Foster has a BSCS degree and a MBA. He has worked in R&D for medical device corporations and in IT for large financial institutions. Brian Foster has a blog at






George Vale Owen