On a cozy Saturday afternoon, Calise Simone sat down with Elyssa Jakim and some nettles tea to answer questions about her fascinating work.
So, what do you do exactly?
I’m a psychic and a medium. As a psychic, I connect to your energy and look at your past, present, and future. Mediumship is connecting to the spirit world, communicating with loved ones that have crossed over. During a reading, I’ll usually do a combination of both to help you understand your situation in a way that will help you move forward on your journey.
I encourage people to bring questions and calm their energy before a reading to get the most out of their experience.
Can you tell me a bit about your story? How did you know you were psychic?
My first spiritual experiences were when I was a child. I would see spirits in my room when I was going to sleep. I would see faces coming out of the wall and feel people around me. I thought this was all normal. There were a lot of nights that I couldn't sleep and I’d tell my mom what I was seeing. She would comfort me, as a mom naturally does and explain there was no such thing as monsters.
I was an atheist growing up, not particularly interested in spirit or religion. In my late teens, I started having dreams that would come true on a regular basis. I also began to notice bizarre synchronicities around me, which went beyond the definition of normal coincidences. Having these experiences as a young adult made me question everything I’d believed in up to that point.
As an adult working in a very high stress job, I would meditate to combat the stress of my fast paced lifestyle. The more I meditated, the more my abilities started to open up and I started to feel a great sense of connection to my intuition. I started to hear more, to feel people around me again, and to connect to spirit world again. It got to the point where I would notice signs from the spirit world around me all the time. I’d close my eyes and I’d see lights everywhere, orbs, and it was just part of my every day experience. Going to sleep I’d hear so many voices it sounded like I was in a café.
I took psychic development classes in order to learn how to switch this off. It became overwhelming and I needed to learn how to control it and prevent it from interfering with my everyday life. I’ve learned how to balance the information, and how to decide when to tune in and out. That’s really important for anyone with spiritual abilities.
It was during those classes that I realized the extent of my gift. I realized I could use it to help people. I always thought this gift was normal, and I didn’t think it was anything special. At the same time, I seemed to always know what to say to people, how to advise them about the way things would work out. I could always understand someone’s personality before getting to know them.
Using my gift wasn’t something I planned to do as a career. I had no interest, but then my friends started asking me for readings and then their friends wanted readings and then they’d tell people, and then more and more people came to me, so I had to start charging people. I transitioned from finance into doing this work and it just snowballed into a career. There’s still a part of me that wonders if this what I’m supposed to be doing, but the opportunities keep coming.
It’s hard telling people you’re a medium. The first thing people usually say is “So what am I thinking RIGHT NOW?” or they stick their palm in my face say “Ooh! What can you tell me?” I recently had someone at a bar ask me, “What do you do for work?” I replied “how open minded are you?” He assured me he was very open minded. I then told him “I talk to dead people” and I don’t think it was quite the answer he was expecting. He was like “oh shoot!” (but with stronger language). It’s always an interesting topic of conversation.
The more I followed the path of being a psychic and medium, the more my life fell into place and the more opportunities opened up for me. I’ve done readings on stage, television and radio. I’ve worked with celebrity psychic mediums and celebrities. It doesn’t feel like work for me. When you can heal someone and help someone while you’re doing what you love, well that’s just incredible.
Where did you study?
I’ve taken many courses and been privately mentored by other mediums over the years. I began my studies at the Holistic Studies Institute of New York in a course that went over three years. There I focused on developing my psychic abilities with a little bit of mediumship. With that, I learned to understand the magnitude of what I was accessing. Interestingly, at the same time my cousin living on the other side of the world who is the same age as me started to develop his and mediumship abilities and was giving readings in Australia.
I was later selected to be part of Advanced Mediumship group run by Lisa Williams in Los Angeles. She takes mediums that have already been practicing and mentors them over nine weeks. If after the course she feels you’re up to her standards, she’ll certify you and back you as part of her institute.
So this talent runs in the family? How does your family feel about this work?
One of my great uncles used to have séances at his house and draw pictures of spirits that he met in his meditations. My mother, grandmother, great grandmother and aunty are all very intuitive, so it wasn’t too much a shock. I’m lucky that my family does support what I do and that they understand it. My dad started out very skeptical saying “whatever gives you hope.” Then a year or two later, he would ask me questions like “Where do you think I should go fishing today?” And before I knew it, he was sending me clients.
Can you talk about some of the signs you were experiencing leading up to taking classes?
I experienced a lot of physical mediumship: things like lights turning on and off, doors opening and closing, taps switching on and off, visitations from loved ones in dreams and feeling their presence when I was awake. Spirit was doing everything it could to get my attention. I would find my personal objects being moved around, disappearing and reappearing. Once I was in a car with no keys in the ignition, and the car switched itself on, lights flashing and everything. When stuff like that happens,
even the atheist part of you goes “I’m not crazy.” And you realize you’d have to be an idiot to try and rationalize or deny it.
I see feathers all the time and that’s why I have a feather in my logo. It’s become a bit of a joke, actually. I’ll see a feather in an elevator, floating through Duane Reade, or even on the Subway. I know that spirit’s around me all the time. It’s so interesting when you start working with the spirit world how much your life changes and how your perspective on life changes as well.
What’s the difference between your 30-minute and 50-minute session?
I recommend a 50-minute session if a person wants an overall view of their life situation.
In fifty minutes you can go deeper. You can focus on more issues. Sometimes one issue is made up of many different aspects—part of a larger story. Your love life is connected to your career, which is connected to your family life, which circles back to your love life. I take a holistic approach when helping people navigate their situation.
Thirty minutes is a good amount of time if you just want to focus on one issue or to check in on a situation you’re experiencing.
What’s something everyone wants to know?
Most people want to know what their purpose in life is and to know if they’ve made a mistake on their journey. This was surprising to me starting out, because I thought people would want to connect to relatives and loved ones, whereas most people want to ask about themselves and their relationships. That always amuses me, but I don’t blame them. Someone might have lost both parents and they’ll come into a reading and say “so tell me about this guy that I like.” I’ve read for people in all sorts of situations all over the world. People in Japan, London, Peru, and they all want to know about the same things: love, the future, and money.
Sometimes people get upset because I don't tell them what they want to hear. The messages come directly from spirit, not from me. I’d rather tell people the truth about what I’m receiving than make something up just to make them happy, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing my job. I don’t believe in giving negative messages though, if I see some bad news coming up I’ll always follow it through until we find a resolution on how to handle it.
It never ceases to amaze me the effect my readings have on people, it is very rewarding to see how healing just one session can be. To me the individual messages don’t mean as much, because it’s not my life and the messages I give come directly from spirit.
Do you ever channel from spirit (letting spirit use your voice to speak through you)?
I don't physically channel right now. I channel information, but I’m not a channel. I like to keep spirit separate from my body. For some people channeling for just twenty minutes can knock you out for three days.
Are the messages you receive wildly different?
This is the kind of stuff I could never make it up. It makes me laugh when people say how mediums work, and tell you all of their tricks and secrets, like we’re magicians. Even the most creative people could never make up the messages I have had to deliver. You have to be very open-minded doing this work because everyone’s journey is unique.
Is there an example of how you’ve needed to be open-minded?
The obvious ones are very personal, which I could never share, but I get messages that are very different from my personal viewpoint. Sometimes there will be advice to walk away from a relationship, where my personal advice would have been to stick it out. But again, I tell my clients what they need to hear, which is what I’m getting from spirit.
Can you tell us about your psychic development classes?
When I teach classes, I teach people how to recognize intuition and development in a safe and nurturing environment. During workshops, I help people understand the idea of spirit world, how the other side operates, the afterlife transition process. I work a lot with the idea of spirituality helping people manifest the life they want and to live a more balanced life. A lot of people put pressure on themselves to achieve certain goals. It’s more about finding your highest joy. When you stay open to more possibilities then you can achieve more and have a more rewarding life.
Knowing your intuition this deeply lets you lead a healthier life, detach from things that no longer serve you energetically and attract to the things that serve you better. The universe is constantly trying to help us let go of things we don’t need. We hold onto them because we’re so scared of change. But if you just surrender, you see that better things are trying to come to you all the time. All you have to do is show up and say yes.
Once you develop your personal intuition, you don't have to take a class on how to become a medium. I just teach people how to harness what they have and to develop what they came in with.
Do you ever have experiences with dark energies that are difficult? Do darker energies ever come through in a session?
I don't connect with darker energies. I’ve done clearing work on properties and people that might have gotten themselves into a lower vibrational state. This definitely helps with selling and renting properties. That kind of work involves a lot of realigning energy, not so much fighting against darker spirits.
A lot of people get scared of the idea of having spirits in the room. But when they come to a reading they realize it’s not like Hogwarts, I don't make objects fly around the room, nor do I ride on a broomstick, although I’d probably be a lot more famous if I could do that.
What are some other aspects of your career as a medium?
From time to time I perform platform mediumship shows in different cities (often it’s LA for me). I will stand in front of an audience, sometimes alone, sometimes with other mediums and we give messages to people in the crowd. Platform mediumship is something I really enjoy but not something I ever planned to do. Again, it was something that just came to me and I went with it. I’ve worked in Salem during Halloween at the Festival of the Dead. Doing psychic readings there is always fun.
Something big to remember when doing this work publically, is that I have to remind people that the messages come from spirit and not from me. People will start to hang on every word I say and I have to step back and remind them I am not their loved one or their spirit guide, I’m just the messenger. The bridge between the two worlds. A truly talented medium must control his or her ego, because it is not their messages they’re sharing, it’s spirit’s.
Even in this interview, I had some moments where I was like “Oh, I needed to hear that!” [Laughter]
And then I have people who tell me “you came to me in a dream last night and you told me not to worry about my breakup because I have a new husband coming and I’m going to have three children.” Then I start laughing at the fact that even when I’m resting I’m still working. And that’s a thing your sprit can do, so apparently I give my friends free readings while I’m asleep!
What’s the most rewarding part of this work?
The readings that affect me the most are people who have lost loved ones, partners and I’m able to connect them to that loved one and let them know that energy is still around them after that person has moved on.
The most rewarding situations are not only when you help people, but when you see them take action on their lives and help themselves. I’ve seen people recover from drug addictions, get out of destructive relationships and become so much healthier than they first were when I first met them. Knowing that the reading helped start that process is pretty awesome. It’s very inspiring for me to be the catalyst.
Calise Simone reads monthly on Saturdays at Maha Rose. Visit her website at www.calisesimone.com