John Edward, one of the world’s most prominent psychic mediums – some would say “entertainers” – describes himself as a conduit between this world and the next, helping the living communicate with loved ones who have crossed over. “They do see what is happening in our lives and they are connected to us,” he said.
Edward’s presentation Wednesday night at the Marriott Hotel in Rancho Cordova is sold out, but he will appear in San Jose on Saturday and in San Francisco on Sunday. Details and ticket sales ($150) are at www.etix.com.
The TV personality, lecturer, talk-show regular and New York Times best-selling author has communicated with the departed since he was 5 years old, he says. At age 15, he had a reading by noted psychic Lydia Clar, who helped him understand his abilities and told him his life’s work would be to help comfort the troubled and change the way millions of people regard psychic phenomenon. Soon, Edward began giving readings himself.
In 1998, Edward was working as a phlebotomist (drawing blood from patients in a medical environment) and a ballroom dance instructor while majoring in health care administration at Long Island University when he published his first book, “One Last Time.” In it, he details how he “first discovered, then gradually developed, (his) psychic ability to foretell events and communicate with the deceased.”
The subject matter was irresistible to a wide readership, and the autobiography’s success led to appearances on national radio and TV talk shows. He charmed and astounded audiences, and was such a hit that by the next year he had a TV show of his own, “Crossing Over With John Edward,” on the then-Sci-Fi Channel. In 2006, he debuted a second series, “John Edward Cross Country,” on the Women’s Entertainment Channel. Both have been syndicated internationally.
Edward’s books include “Fallen Masters,” “After Life: Answers From the Other Side,” “What If God Were the Sun?” and “Crossing Over: The Stories Behind the Stories.”
Edward, 43, tours globally but lives on Long Island, N.Y., with his wife, Sandra, and their two children. His full name is John Edward McGee Jr. Visit him at www.johnedward.net.
Please describe how you do what you do.
It’s like having a daydream and getting lost in your thoughts, but they’re not your own thoughts. Somebody else is giving you the thoughts and you’re reacting to them.
(The messages) I get are not clear. (The process) is like watching a negative develop in a darkroom, and slowly figuring out what the picture is. Whatever it is I’m seeing, hearing and feeling, I’m going to interpret within my frame of reference and tell you what I think it means. Then I will ask you to validate what you do or do not understand. That way, people can’t accuse me of fishing for information. Like, “Who here knows someone with a J name?”
Do you look at this as a gift?
That word makes my skin crawl. “Psychic ability” is the better term. As soon as you use the word “gift,” you are defining yourself as being more special than someone else. This work is never about the medium, it’s about the medium’s relationship with the (living) person moving forward. The connection (between the living and the dead) itself is the “gift.”
Was your childhood odd?
I’ve always had the ability to do and know things for no logical reasons, but never thought of that as being weird or of myself as being different. It was just natural. I grew up in a family that was open to the subject matter, so it wasn’t like, “Ooo, there’s something psychic going on here.” I wasn’t the kid from (the movie) “The Sixth Sense.” Though after age 15 I did look back and realize I shouldn’t have known about a lot of things, like when my mom cut her foot on a clam shell at the beach when she was 13.
Can you turn off the internal dialogue?
I had to learn that you can’t always be on. It’s unhealthy on every aspect of your life – physically, emotionally, spiritually. It’s like being an athlete – you have to train and work hard, but you need to pace yourself and give yourself time to replenish. Otherwise, you will burn out.
Have you read other mediums?
Sure, but sometimes you get one whose ego gets in the way. They want the information, but at the same time they don’t want you to be right. They want to be better than you.
You’re definitely not the typical psychic medium.
I’m not easy to work with. I don’t like fluffy, new age, peace, light and love messages. If you’re looking for flowers and heaven and everything’s great, I may not be the medium for you.
I know exactly what everyone wants to hear when they sit in front of me for readings – they have someone they want to connect with and they want to feel good about it. My job is not to tell people what they want to hear, it’s to make them think. I can raise someone’s awareness and give them information they can put it into action, which can be healing. It’s easy to say, “Your dad is with you and he loves you.” But if you don’t back that up with specific information and details, it’s worthless. But a lot of people don’t want to hear that.
What’s your takeaway?
Watching the light go on in people’s eyes and knowing I’ve made a difference in their lives. Look, death sucks, and grief is heavy. When you come to see me, it’s because you’ve experienced a loss. A medium can’t bring that person back but hopefully does the job well enough to show you that you don’t need the medium, because (the deceased) is still with you. That’s truly what the job is – validating that there is an afterlife and showing that a connection exists.
What about skeptics?
They’re necessary now more than ever because of all the (scams) out there. I try to teach and educate, but people have left fliers on cars in parking lots at events I’ve done. I read them, and they scare me. My one problem is when the skeptics go on the personal attack and get nasty. When my son got old enough to go on Google and read online rants against what I do, that became the moment we had a conversation. I told him, “There are people who have very strong opinions about what Daddy does.”
Have your children inherited your abilities?
The freak gene has been passed down to both of them, but I do not encourage them to develop their abilities. Yet I am helping them understand the world of energy and making sure they will have an intuitive and energetic edge in their approach to life.
How has your ability defined your personal view of religion?
I’m a recovering Catholic. My grandmother took me to Mass every single day until first grade. So I jokingly say I banked my Sundays early in life, and I don’t go to church now.
I don’t really love organized religion, but I like the philosophy of having a faith. My ability has made me look at religion as a business, but has strengthened my belief in a divine source – God or however you want to call it. I tell people, “I don’t care what religion you are, but hold on to a foundation of faith.”
Is there an afterlife?
It’s not even an issue. I have absolutely no doubt – 100 percent – that there is a world after this one. I have no fear of death or being over there, but the process of how I’m going to get there doesn’t thrill me.
What awaits us?
I don’t know the answer to that, and it’s the question every publisher wants me to write a book about. They want an afterlife tour, but that would be remiss and really wrong of me. I’ve gotten glimpses (of the next world), but 95 percent of what I do is pass on information from that world. That doesn’t qualify me to write a book about it. I couldn’t write it until I’m actually there, so I can’t write that book unless somebody here channels me from over there.
You’ve learned a lot from reading thousands of people. What’s your parting message?
Life happens and people leave us, so say what you have to say to those you love while you and they are still here. Don’t wait for a second chance. Every time you leave somebody, leave them like it’s the last time you’re going to see them. If people could put that into their frames of reference every single day, then when (loved ones) transition you’ve automatically left them better than you found them.
Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.