James Van Praagh is a world-renowned medium and author of many books including New York Times bestseller, Talking to Heaven. He is also the co-executive produce of CBS series Ghost Whisper. A natural-born psychic pioneer, Van Praagh is one of the most celebrated and respected spiritual teachers who has bought a mind-full awareness to the subject of communication with the dead.
So how did this young man from Queens, New York go on to become one of the world’s leading mediums? We are grateful to chat with James Van Praagh and learn more about his journey into the spiritual world.
CCG: When did you first discover that you were a medium?
When I was a very young child, I would see visions of my deceased grandparents at the foot of my bed at night. Because I was only three or four years old, I didn’t quite know what to make of this! Eventually, I mentioned what I was seeing to my mother, and she handled it in a way that made me feel at peace. She very calmly said, “Oh you can see spirits? I used to see them too when I was your age.” She explained that I had a special gift and that I was not alone, and assured me there was nothing to fear.
CCG: How did you grow and develop as a medium over time and with experience?
I’ve been a psychic medium for over three decades. I pushed my gift aside during my teens, and in my early twenties while I was pursuing a career as a screenwriter when an encounter with a medium changed everything. He told me that my destiny was to prove to the world that there is an afterlife. Inspired, I spent hours every week sitting with other mediums in a development circle as we sharpened our intuition and mediumship skills. We would practice reading one another and spent time meditating to strengthen our connection to Spirit.
During all these years, I have never stopped practising. These days, I continue to enhance my own abilities as I mentor mediums and psychics at live workshops and through my online school, The James Van Praagh School of Mystical Arts.
CCG: Do you think that being a medium is a special gift or is it something that all humans are capable of?
We all start out with psychic abilities, although we are not all capable of connecting with souls who have passed over. When babies are born, their connection to Source energy is very strong. They’re not even aware of the dividing line between the earthly world and the Spirit realm. As they grow older, the judgement and expectation of adults start to influence them, and most gradually lose that connection.
Children who are extremely psychic or mediumistic and who are raised by parents who recognize and encourage their gift can maintain their ability into adulthood. They might become professional psychics or mediums or put their sensitivity to use in a more “mainstream” field like healing, art, music or even sales.
CCG: How has being a medium affected your life? It must be at times a difficult skill to have.
I feel so blessed to have this gift and I wouldn’t change my life for anything. Even though mediums deal with the profound grief and loss of others on a daily basis, we are in a unique position to help with the healing process. Although I can’t connect everyone who writes to me or comes to one of my events with their deceased loved one, what I can do is prove through my books, videos, and public appearances that death is an illusion, and the person they are missing is still there – watching over them.
CCG: How do you best share your passion for the spirit world?
That’s an easy question! It was always my dream to create a community where like-minded people could connect, explore, and learn. In 2016 I made my dream a reality. The James Van Praagh School of Mystical Arts is online schools for those seeking to discover and enhance their spiritual gifts, unleash their soul’s power, and fulfill their soul’s destiny. The school offers a variety of online learning experiences, from professional certifications, to audio or video courses, to meditations and mind journeys. I offer advanced mediumship courses where I mentor students via live calls and workshops, as well as providing video and audio lessons.
My most advanced students even have the chance to join me on stage at events and on Hay House Radio. And hundreds of spiritual seekers were able to enhance their natural intuition and open up their spirit connection with courses like Predict Your Future with Your Soul Self, and Life Tools for the Highly Sensitive Person. You can find out more at JVP School of Mystical Arts.
CCG: How does the spirit world connect with you and how does this make you feel?
JVP: I receive impressions from the spirit world in many ways, but primarily through clairvoyance (seeing) and clairsentience (sensing and feeling). Spirit will show me images that I can relay to the person who is receiving the reading. Some of these visions are amazingly detailed! It’s so gratifying to share something so personal and specific that the person receiving the reading has no doubt that their loved one is there, reaching out to them.
CCG: Do you think that it is possible for all of us to develop psychic or mediumistic powers?
We are all at least a little bit psychic – the trick is to be able to “tune in” at will – and to tune out when you need to protect your energy. Intuition is like a muscle; it gets stronger and more toned the more you use it. I have mentored thousands of gifted psychics and mediums through my live workshops and online at the JVP School of Mystical Arts. I teach my students to respect their gift, and how to gather detailed insights and evidence in a way that is helpful to the person receiving the reading.
CCG: If you have one fundamental message that you want to share with the world what would that message be?
I believe that my purpose is to act as a conduit for the spirit world, and to share the message that death is an illusion, and that love – like life – never dies. To add to that, I want to disprove the idea that the living and the dead are very different from one another, and to demonstrate that, first and foremost, we are all souls. Those of us who are here on earth right now are “souls having a human experience, and not the other way around.”
ABOUT JAMES VAN PRAAGH:
Internationally renowned #1 New York Times bestselling author of Talking to Heaven, Reaching to Heaven, Healing Grief, Heaven and Earth, Looking Beyond, Meditations, Ghosts Among Us, Unfinished Business, Growing Up In Heaven, Adventures of the Soul and the soon to be released Power of Love; James Van Praagh is hailed throughout the world as a pioneer of the mediumship movement, and recognized as one of the most accurate spiritual mediums working today. His messages have brought solace, peace and spiritual insights, changing millions view of both life and death. He has received many awards for his dedication to raising the consciousness of the planet.