This is the first of a three-part series.
Did you ever wonder, “What would Grandma do?” Well, now you can ask her. Tulare and Kings Counties have a rich variety of mediums who can speak to those who have passed. Most people who seek a reading aren’t just looking for cooking tips from their late Aunt Gertrude. Usually, it means that someone has died out of the natural order of things and their loved ones need closure. Using the services of a medium to help deal with serious life issues, or connect with someone who has died, has been around for hundreds of years—but only just recently has it gained acceptance.
How do you find a medium? If you enjoy throwing away your money, you can log on to ASKNOW.COM Try Us Free Psychics. But you might be better off going to your local New Age retailer that has a reputable in-house medium. The Crystal Barn in Mary’s Vineyard has been in business for 25 years. Diane Wilson was their in-house psychic for 19 of them, the last 12 as a medium.
She has since moved to Montana, and continues doing readings over the phone. Wilson will be back to the Crystal Barn just for the month of September to take appointments and possibly do a gallery reading.
Michelle Tedrow is another experienced medium who works out of the Cosmic Corral in downtown Hanford. With the new four-lane Highway 198, the Cosmic Corral is only about a 15-minute drive from Visalia. Another option is at the New Earth Expo that comes through Fresno about every three months and is in town on June 29th at the Piccadilly Inn. This is where Tedrow got her first reading that validated she was on the correct spiritual path.
Wilson started out at the Crystal Barn by doing psychic readings. She made the transition from psychic to medium when a mother came in asking for a reading to find out if her son had committed suicide. Wilson stated that when doing a reading for a murder or suicide you have to be very careful what comes out of your mouth. “You may be wrong,” she said. During the course of her reading, Wilson could see this man might not have committed suicide. She contacted a friend on the police force to validate the messages she was receiving. The officer did a little investigation on her own and discovered that, in fact, the son had been murdered in a drug-related crime. Wilson explained that the transition from simply doing a psychic reading to being a medium takes a lot more energy and time. “It’s not just sweet little old ladies wanting to talk to their husbands.” Doing a reading for a murder takes a lot more out of you than a customer who just wants to know, “Where’s my man?”
Wilson’s most difficult reading was when a family came in who wanted to hear from their five-year-old son who had been hit by a semi while riding an ATV. It was her worst reading not because of the boy’s passing, but the loved ones he left behind. During the reading, the little boy kept talking about blue paint on his shoes. The parents said that the day before he died they had repainted the kitchen and their son had gotten blue paint on his shoes. When he died, the shoes were the only recognizable thing left and they wrapped them up in a towel and brought them home.
Tedrow’s spiritual journey started when her older brother died ten years ago. She and her brother were very close, and his death was the first loss she had ever experienced. As a result, a huge shift happened in her life. The old Michelle was 15% in touch with her higher self and 85% ego. After her brother died, it reversed. “It was like someone flipped a switch and a light came on,” said Tedrow.
She has memories of the person she used to be but now feels more connected to her higher self than the material world. This connection to the spiritual world ended her existence of just drifting through life and pulled her into becoming a medium.
Tedrow’s most unusual reading concerned a family dog. The dog was feeling under the weather, so the family decided to let it rest in the car while they took an excursion. On their return, realizing they had not left a window open, the found that their dog had died. The guilt over the dog’s death weighed heavily on them, and the family asked Tedrow if she could do a reading.
The session revolved around everything to do with the pet’s life. The dog showed her his treats, his bed, and how he loved to chase squirrels. Tedrow felt the pet seemed very happy and was still present in the family home. The youngest daughter, with whom the dog slept, had a dream that the dog would reincarnate into a new puppy. Tedrow said the dog’s spirit came through as strong as any human’s that had passed to the other side.
There are good reasons and bad reasons to get a reading. Wilson said a good reason is when someone needs closure because they did not get to say goodbye. A bad reason is when someone wants to know who killed their loved one. “What if you are wrong and an enraged parent goes out and beats the crap out of an innocent person?”
Those who are religious may also not be the best candidates for a reading. Relon Graham, the owner of the Crystal Barn, believes that there exists no conflict between religion and spirituality involving mediums. She said that mediums get most of their messages from angels, anyway. Graham’s grandfather was an ardent Catholic, and he often makes himself heard in the store during readings or other events. But according to many Christians, seeking the guidance of a medium is relying on something that is not Bible-based. There are scriptures in the Old Testament that specifically forbid communicating with the dead or seeking out someone who tries to communicate with the dead. Some believe, Christian or not, that using an Ouija board, tarot cards or a medium could open up a portal for the devil to enter.
Being in the California Bible-belt, the Crystal Barn had to overcome deep resistance from Christian groups, especially 20 years ago. In the beginning, some churchgoers would call it the “devil store” or leave Bibles on the counter. Visalia has expanded its horizons, and Teresa Caputo—of Long Island Medium fame—has done much to change attitudes. “I think there has been an awakening,” said Darcy Bellows-Macorro, author of Finding Vern. “If you want to tap into your intuition you can tap into it. The energy of the planet has been speeding up and as one person awakens then two then four then 16, it’s exponential.”
Throughout this area and Fresno County there are talented mediums and not-so-talented mediums. Someone who is new to the craft will be hit-and-miss. Bellows-Macorro has proven to be an accomplished medium but still isn’t comfortable doing it professionally. Newer mediums don’t have as much control over the information they are getting. “The percentage of what you get right grows with the number of readings that you do,” said Tedrow.
She did readings for six years before she started charging people because, before doing so, she wanted to be confident that she could help them. “I’m kind of a perfectionist,” Tedrow said. “I want them to get their money’s worth.” She once gave her client’s money back. They didn’t like what she had to say even though everything was true or validated later. “Some people don’t like the truth, or you are not saying what they came to hear.” Tedrow also tries to encourage her repeat clients to learn how to do readings themselves and wait six months before calling her again.
Tedrow’s regular job is driving a bus for the Lemoore School District. In the mornings she does three or four readings a week. She believes that you should support yourself by other means so being a medium doesn’t become about the money. Her guides say a medium’s mission is to help people and that is the only reason you should be doing it. If money gets in the way the information does not flow.
The most amazing medium Tedrow has ever come across was Robert Brown, from England. He would come to California once a year, and once she drove down from Los Angeles and had a one-hour session. “It the best $285 I ever spent in my life. He was so accurate,” Tedrow said. “He said I see your brother walking and described what he looked like. Not only did his reading give me peace and validation, he also showed me what is possible in this realm of work.”
Pick up the Valley Voice’s next issue for an intimate look behind a private reading where Valeria asks Michelle Tedrow, “Is my husband still with me?” Just 19 days after being let out of prison, Valeria’s husband died of a genetic liver disorder. A month after that, she lost the grandmother who raised her. Michelle tries to contact both of her loved ones from the other side.