James Van Praagh, noted psychic and medium, is coming to Atlanta on April 28 and 29, at Atlanta Unity Church. In March, Don Martin, Publisher of Aquarius Magazine, had the opportunity to speak with James about his life, his psychic gift, and what he sees happening in the psychic world. Here is the interview...
Don: You have been having “psychic” interactions with those who have passed over since you were a small child. Have you ever doubted your own gift? How did you deal with doubt?
James: I’ve never doubted my gift - when I was a young boy, it was all very natural to me and I assumed that everyone could see dead people just like I did. When I was 8 my mother took me aside and told me that when she was young, she was also able to see spirits but that not everybody could. She advised me to be careful about who I shared my gift with, because some people would not understand or accept it. As a teenager my mind was focused elsewhere and Spirit took a back seat to the usual high school concerns, but my gift was always there - It was a part of me like my hair and my blue eyes. In my early 20s a friend took me to see a medium - who recognized my abilities and advised me to start meditating and sitting in development circles. When I did that, I was able to expand my mediumistic skills. For over three decades I have continued to work on expanding my Spirit connection and sharing it with others.
Don: How does your gift work with you? Do you hear voices? Get impressions? Other sensory stimulations?
James: Spirit comes through in different ways for different people. Psychics and mediums connect through the “claires” and may be gifted with one or more of them. Clairvoyance comes through visually, Clairaudience is related to hearing, Clairsentience is feeling, and Claircognizance is knowing. I’m fortunate in that my ability is multi-sensory - I have some of each! When I receive messages from the Spirit realm, they come through first as feelings, then I might see visions or impressions, or hear audible messages. It depends on the spirit and the way they are most comfortable communicating. If a Spirit was visual in life, they are likely to send me a detailed picture, while if they were a talker, they will communicate in words.
Don: Do you think everyone has innate intuitive or psychic gifts? Can anyone make contact with those who have passed on?
James: I absolutely believe that we are all born with natural Psychic ability. Intuition is the souls language, not to mention a naturally telepathic, instinctive connection. It's how babies bond with their mother. As we get older and more “civilized” it’s easy to stop listening to our inner voice, but our intuition is always there. As for mediumship, I believe that mediums are born with a gift. Not everyone has the ability to connect with the Spirit world. I use the analogy of a pianist. With enough teaching and practice, everyone has the ability to play the piano, but only some people are born with the gift and passion to be a concert pianist. That being said, whatever level of ability you start with, enhancing your psychic or mediumship skills takes training, focus and practice.
Don: What is your greatest concern for the psychic world and for those who are engaged with it?
James: My greatest concern for the psychic world is the misunderstanding of what it’s really about. What people see on TV isn’t the way it is. Psychics and Mediums need to have the right motivation, and take their gift very seriously. These are skills that need to be developed and refined over time - training and learning every single day. Mediumship is not a party trick. There is a responsibility that comes with the gift - you have people’s hearts and lives in your hand, One should not pursue a mediumship or psychic career to become famous. It has to be inside you and the motivation should be to serve the world.
Don: What is your greatest vision for the psychic world?
James: My vision for practicing psychics and mediums is that they contribute to raising the awareness and vibration of the planet - helping everyone find their own connection with their soul and it’s unique, individual expression. I wish everyone would take responsibility for their work, and facilitate a ripple effect in the world that will encourage people to have a relationship with their own soul self. Realizing that every one of us is a soul having a human experience – that’s really what it’s all about!