{Giveaway} A 30-minute conversation with a renowned psychic

Win a 30-minute conversation with world-renowned psychic, FOF Echo Bodine, plus win The Gift, her bestseller about understanding and developing your pyschic abilities, and A Small, Still Voice, her book about intuition. To enter, comment below and answer: Have you ever had a psychic reading?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

When we first discovered FOF Echo Bodine, a world-renowned psychic, we were surprised how “un-psychic-like” she was. “I don’t dress the way people expect me too. My house is just a normal house — it’s not full of cats,” says Echo. “Many of my students and clients tell me that they chose me because I look normal and I don’t scare them.”

Echo has been a practicing psychic for over thirty years. She’s written 11 books on the subject, many published by New World Library (the publishing powerhouse behind spiritual blockbusters such as The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle). She’s also made numerous TV appearances including on The View and NBC’s Later Today. Here, she sets us straight on some of the misconceptions about psychics and offers a few predictions for the year to come….

Is Echo your real name?

What made you realize you had psychic abilities?
At the age of 17, I was with my family at the dinner table. My brother, who was 14 years old at the time, was in the basement practicing his drums. He was just learning how to play and sounded pretty rough. Then suddenly, the drumming sounded really nice. My brother flew up the stairs–hysterical. He said that a white figure that floated up to him, and its hands came down on top of his and played the music. My mom consulted a psychic who told her that my brother had met his guardian angel. She said, ‘you have some very gifted children and I’d like to see you and your oldest daughter for a psychic reading.’

[Watch a YouTube video where Echo Bodine describes in more detail how she discovered her psychic abilities.]

Did you go for a reading?
Yes. She said I was born with all four of the psychic abilities and the gift of healing.

Did you believe her?
No. I said to her, ‘I don’t have any of this stuff, and I don’t want any of this stuff. I just want a nice, normal life.’ I had already been accepted to the University of Minnesota to become a social worker.

So, what ended up happening?
I ignored it and went on to college for three years. I was going to live my life the way I wanted to live it. But, my psychic abilities kept getting stronger and stronger. It took baby steps for me to accept these abilities and find a way of having a normal life.

What are the four psychic abilities?
There’s clairvoyance, which is the gift of seeing – visions or pictures. There’s clairaudience–the gift of hearing, which is like mental telepathy. For instance, you think about someone and then he or she calls you on the phone. Another ability is clairsentience, the gift of sensing, where you can pick up the energy in a room. A lot of us have this ability. The last is called clairgustance, the gift of smell. It sounds pretty goofy, but it’s real. It works the best when a deceased loved one comes to visit us. When my dad comes to visit, I get one of two smells–cigarette smoke (he was a smoker) or Old Spice cologne.

A person can have some psychic abilities but not others?
That’s correct.

Can you learn to be psychic or do you have to have an innate ability?
We can learn to develop the psychic abilities we already have. In my classes, I teach people how to use their abilities to help them through their lives. I would say that 90 percent of my students don’t want to become professional psychics. A lot of nurses and realtors take my classes. The nurses want to use their abilities to work with their patients. The realtors want to use their abilities to match the right houses with the right clients.

What’s the difference between being spiritual and psychic? Do you have to be spiritual to be psychic?
No, you don’t. Being psychic is an ability. We all have different abilities, such as musical ability. For me, being spiritual is having my own relationship with God, not necessarily based on religion. There are two common misconceptions about psychics and religion. One is that people think all psychics are evil or work for Satan. The other is that all psychics are on a spiritual path. Not all psychics are on a spiritual path.

What do you say to people who are skeptical of psychics?
I’m glad people have a healthy skepticism. If someone’s on the fence, I’ll say, ” If it’s interesting to you, why don’t you explore it? Read some books about it rather than just accepting that it’s not real.”

Do you think maybe it’s hard for people who haven’t experienced it to believe it?
I do. Even people who are very close to me say, ‘Echo, I don’t know what you are talking about. This doesn’t make sense to me.’ It’s tough, especially for people who are very intellectual or logical. A dear friend of mine, for example, says ‘I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t believe it. It boggles my mind that you’ve been doing it for forty years.’

Do you think people get more or less skeptical with age?
Less. When we’re younger, we think we know it all. When we get older–50 and up–we realize we don’t have all the answers and go on a quest to find the real answers.

Are there good psychics and bad psychics?
The bummer is that there are psychics out there who take advantage of people. Someone once came up to my dad at a football game and said she saw several dark clouds around him and could get rid of them for $5,000. That kind of stuff really irritates me.

So how do you know if someone is good?
I ask my intuition. When I was younger I went to a lot of different psychics. I learned a lot from what I call the ‘half-developed psychics.’ Some people see pictures in their head and think they’re ready to go, ready to read people’s futures. I went to college, I had other careers and I practiced for 12 years before I really truly, felt I could do this as a full-time career.

What do women over fifty ask you about the most?
They want to know about improving their health, their spirituality, second careers and some are asking about second marriages. The word that comes to me is freedom. It’s no longer about what they can do for others, it’s about what they can do for themselves.

What services do you provide?
I teach online psychic development classes and in-person psychic development classes. I’ve written 11 books about healing, intuition and psychic abilities. I also have a Healing Penpals Program. We match healers with people in need. We’ve done absentee healings on over 7,000 people for free. We get letters from all over the world saying things such as, “My stage 4 cancer is gone. My doctor wants to know what you did.”

Any predictions for the coming year?
The rest of 2011 and 2012 are going to continue to be intense. For many years people have been fulfilling their emptiness with material things. The blessing of this economy is that people’s buttons are going to get pushed so they are going to look at their values and priorities differently and find their spirituality. What concerns me for 2012 is the weather–it will be calm one day and erratic the next. We need to check in with our intuition before making any outdoor plans.

Enter to win a 30-minute phone conversation with Echo plus her books, The Gift and A Small, Still Voice. One FOF will win a phone reading plus Echo’s books. Two runners up will win Echo’s books. To enter, comment below and answer: Have you ever had a psychic reading?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. One winner is chosen at random from all those who ask a question. Contest closes July 14, 2011.)