Sunday, May 19, 2024

Q&A: Psychic and healer Echo Bodine

Minneapolis-based psychic and healer Echo Bodine is celebrating a landmark year in 2015—her 50th year as a New Age practitioner. The author of eight nonfiction books on topics ranging from ghostbusting to psychic development to wellness, Bodine channels her half-century of experience communicating with souls into her latest release, What Happens When We Die.

Bodine will be at the West Palm Beach Marriott on Saturday evening to discuss her latest work and help convey an understanding—and indeed, a genuine architecture—of the afterlife. But it’s not a traditional lecture and book signing: She’ll be joined by none other than Thomas John, the acclaimed Manhattan medium whom we’ve featured several times on bocamag.com. In an interview with Boca Raton, Bodine has nothing but superlatives for John: “I’ve never seen anyone like him. I’ve been to James Van Praagh and John Edward and Sylvia Browne, and he is by far the best. He’s such a sweetheart, too.”

John will support his debut memoir Never Argue With a Dead Person, but more importantly he’ll provide readings for many of the attendees. Given that the waiting list for a personal Thomas John reading now exceeds a year and a half in advance, this will be your best opportunity in the near future to connect with a loved one on the other side.

Bodine discussed the afterlife with me, as well as what to expect from this Saturday’s program. Here are some excerpts from our conversation.

How did this collaboration with Thomas John come to be?

In my work, I have come to be able to see and communicate with people’s souls. So a lot of families have called me and asked me to sit with them while their loves ones are dying. It’s the souls that have taught me about the dying process, and letting go of the body, and moving on to the light, and have taught me about heaven and what goes on over there.

So when I went and saw John Edward a few years ago, there were 3,000 people in the audience. And he did about 12 readings, and then he was finished. I felt so bad for all the other people that didn’t get anything. At the time I thought, gosh, I wish I could work with someone like this: I could go in, give a talk on what I’ve learned from souls about the dying process and life after death, and then a medium could come in and give readings. This has been a dream of mine for about 10 years, and along comes Thomas. He originally came to me for a reading, and I saw that he needed to write a book. I said, “When you’re ready to write the book, I’ll put you in touch with my publisher.”

And they published Thomas’s book, and then Thomas just emailed one day, and said, “What would you think if I came to Minneapolis and did a gallery reading?” I had never seen him work before. We sold out; we had 50 people there, and he blew everyone away, including me. I thought, I have to talk to this young man about working together.

So in this program, I go out for 90 minutes and talk about the dying process and life after death, and then he comes out and gives readings for the audience. That way, everybody gets something. We both feel really excited about it.

So I suppose the central question for you is, what does happen when we die?

Everybody has their own way of dying. But what happens is that about six months before we actually pass, the soul starts its journey of wrapping things up on this side, and getting things ready on the other side. The soul leaves the body a lot, going back and forth between the other side and this side. The soul is getting ready, and it will send thoughts to the conscious mind of, ‘say goodbye to my loved ones, get papers in order.’ Depending on how much the person is listening, if they’re really paying attention to their inner knowing, they will do what the soul is asking them to do. Some people don’t pay attention to it.

And then, usually two to three days before they actually let go, deceased loved ones from the other side will be here with us, helping the soul, reassuring the soul that everything will be fine, it’s part of the plan, you’ve been preparing for this. I asked a mortician friend of mine, “is there any one story you hear the most from families?” He said, “Yes, people say to me all the time, ‘I sat by his side every day for days, and I always made sure someone was with him. And the minute we all had to go someplace—run to the bathroom, go get a Coca-Cola—he died.’”

I checked in and asked the souls about this, and they told me, it’s so much easier for us to take that last breath and leave the body when our family isn’t sitting around us crying, praying for a miracle, pulling on our hand and saying, “please don’t go.”

What do you know about the phenomenon of dying patients receiving phone calls from the other side shortly before they pass?

I remember our psychic teacher telling us, “you’re going to receive phone calls from your deceased loved ones.” I said, what? This was back in 1965, so there weren’t cell phones back then. She said, “The phone will ring, and it’ll be completely dead on the other end, but that’s just your loved one trying to call you.”

From your experience, is there such a place as Hell?

What I’ve been told by different angels I work with is that there is not a Hell, because God would not create such a place. But they’ve also told me that on the other side, there is a place that is similar to Hell but that God did not create that —we have created that, because so many people believe that they’re going to go to Hell that our consciousness created this place. So some people go this community on the other side that is similar to what their religion has taught them about Hell, but nobody is condemning them to that place except for their own beliefs. People will go there, but they won’t stay there for very long.

This relates to my next question: Does a person’s spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, have any impact on their afterlife experience?

Definitely. There are different levels to heaven—seven levels. Levels one to four are on the same level. There’s lots of communities. If you’re Native American, and you believe that when you go to heaven, it’s going to be all about being Native American, you’d go to that community when you pass. The community we go to reflects our belief. As we grow in spirituality, then we go to the higher levels, where we can see everything from a higher perspective.

So yes, it has to do with our beliefs, and the more open we are, the more we’re able to go to the higher levels, and the more we recognize our oneness with God; that’s when we get to the highest levels. That’s really nirvana. It’s what we’re all striving for, to have a total understanding of everything.

I’ve seen lots of pictures of the other side, and there are obvious communities. One of my students asked me, “where do movie stars go?” There’s actually a community for celebrities. But there’s a point where they need to let go of being that celebrity and move on and grow more. So that’s when they come out of those communities. When we’re on the other side, it’s like here—we’re learning, and we want to have more experiences.

How certain are you of an afterlife? For me, there is always that 1 percent of me that thinks, I cannot be 100 percent sure until I die.

I can say the same thing. As much as I’ve seen of the other side, as many souls as I have crossed over to the other side, as many souls as I’ve been with in their dying process and I’ve seen make it through the light and reunite with their family and friends, there’s still that little nagging part in the back of my brain that says, am I making this stuff up? Is this for real? Most of the time it is now my reality, but there is that human side that says, I just wish there was a 100 percent guarantee. And yet when I talk to people, I do feel 100 percent sure. It’s when I get away from that that the human brain starts thinking, what if I make all this up because it sounds nice? But the stuff I’ve learned … I never would have thought about there being different communities on the other side. I never thought about there being different levels to heaven. I have learned a lot from the deceased.

What do you hope attendees take away from your presentation?

I want people to take away a calmness about death, that they don’t need to be afraid of it. And that we really do live on after death, and that we are really about our souls. We all think the physical body is in charge, and that’s where it’s all at, but it’s really all about the soul. So I want to give people peace of mind about dying and about the fact that they’ll see their loved ones again.

Finally, has the field that you’re in become less controversial than when you started?

When I got into this in ‘65, you had to know somebody who knew somebody who had been to a psychic in order to go to a psychic. It was really a secretive profession back then. I remember in 1980, I started to teach psychic development classes. There were six people in my class. I thought that was a big deal. I’m currently teaching that class, and 58 people have signed up. It’s changed so much over the years.

The thing now is that people are not taking these classes necessarily to be psychics. You’ve got Realtors who want to match the perfect house up with their clients, you’ve got nurses using it in their work, doctors taking the classes, therapists taking it to develop psychic abilities so they could really cut through a lot of stuff and help their clients faster and more effectively. It’s very different now than it was 30 or 40 years ago—and the acceptance of it has changed so much.

“What Happens When We Die,” with Echo Bodine and Thomas John, runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 21 at Marriott West Palm Beach, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $60 in advance and $75 at the door. Call 347-637-8592 or visit this link.

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