609 Psychic medium Rebecca Rosen invites us to discover our own paths

1 God and Earth and Universe
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eadTheSpirit always brings you the cutting edge of spiritual media and, today, we’ve got a special surprise: a profile of the very popular young psychic medium Rebecca Rosen, who is drawing quite an audience nationwide.
2 Spirited by Rebecca Rosen     She’s appearing on “Nightline” Monday night.
    On Tuesday, her new book hits bookstores. But, you can place your order today. Click here to order “Spirited: Connect to the Guides All Around You” from Amazon now.

    And, Rebecca is touring the country. Monday, she’s in southeast Michigan, followed by New York City, Miami, Denver, Phoenix, LA—and more. You can check out her entire schedule via her personal Web site.
    Haven’t heard of Rebecca Rosen until now? If you are among our many readers from traditional religious backgrounds, you’ll enjoy meeting Rebecca through today’s profile by author Lynne Meredith Schreiber. You’ll find many of the urgent issues within organized religion echoed in fresh ways within this story:

By LYNNE MEREDITH SCHREIBER

3 Rebecca Rosen by Jennifer Olson One summer in college, I was home in my childhood bedroom and I couldn’t sleep. The house was silent that night—my sister, brother, mother, father all serenely asleep. I could not identify what agitated me, so I didn’t wake anyone for comfort.
   
Finally, I felt compelled to head into the bathroom–not by any human need but by something I could not fathom. I gazed into the mirror, which reflected the pale-blue ceramic tiles of the shower behind me. Immediately, I had to look away because the only image that danced before my eyes was the outline of someone hanging from the shower head.
   
There was, of course, no one there. But I raced back to my room, my heart pounding.
   
The next morning, a friend called to share grim news: an acquaintance had taken her own life the night before.
   
“How did she do it?” I gasped, rubbing at the goosebumps on my arms.
   
“She overdosed,” my friend said. I was saddened for the woman who had felt such despair that she ended her own life, but I was relieved that my visions from that night had no grounding in reality. I told my friend about my evening. She was dumbfounded, chilled as I was.
   
Hours later, the phone rang again.
   
“I was wrong,” my friend said in the smallest voice. “She hung herself. In the shower.”

   
At the time, I thought the situation creepily coincidental. Had I known Rebecca Rosen—or been confident enough to listen to my intuition—I would have realized that the vision was a connection with the soul of another. It’s easy to see the connections clearly when all the signs line up. That’s the message Rosen sends through her work as a psychic medium and through her forthcoming book, “Spirited.”
   
Rebecca Rosen is a slim, beautiful 33-year-old woman originally from Omaha who resides now in Denver with her husband Brian and their two young sons. Rebecca is not the kind of psychic you roll your eyes over and certainly not the kind with a telephone hotline that charges $2 a minute.
   
Those who’ve followed her work consider her, quite simply, the real deal.
   
Now, she’s also a big deal—attracting the attention of celebrities and everyday folks alike. Her ability to tune into messages from spirits, angels and God is as acute as it is astute. Rebecca’s part-memoir, part-self-help book Spirited debuts on Tuesday.
   
On Monday night, she will launch a series of in-person appearances to promote the book and her work. That same night, viewers can see Rosen on “Nightline.” The segment focuses on the way she balances professional and personal demands, her “unconventional job,” motherhood and marriage. Viewers will see Rosen do readings but also do yoga and take care of her sons.
   
“We’re all one. When you die, you rise above religion,” Rosen said this week from the serene meditation room in the office of her publicist, Carolyn Krieger-Cohen.
   
And while most of the world’s religions seem to preach tolerance, unity and community, the reality can fall far short of that goal. Often, religion becomes a barrier that separates people and even sparks fear. Rosen teaches how to live in the moment, to listen to one’s inner voice and to avoid residing in fear. She empowers people to do what every religion teaches—and in “Spirited,” she outlines the steps she has taken in that direction.
   
“This book is a permission slip to find your own connection to God,” Rosen says. “You don’t need religious figures (to help you speak with God). You have a direct line all the time.”

   

Born and raised in the traditions of Judaism, Rosen takes comfort in and celebrates her own religious traditions even as she insists she is not religious. She is spiritual, she says, and in her new book she details her own journey—through a family predisposition toward depression, through the suicide of her father and through the channeling of her late grandmother “Babe,” who showed her the light in her lineage and empowered her to embrace psychic abilities and see this life as a gift.
   
Rosen very much believes in God. In fact, she says that she communicates with God every day and serves as a conduit for others who have difficulty getting there. But, since her wait-list for individual readings is three years long, she wrote this book as a way to show that we don’t need her—we need only to listen to our own inner voices.
   
“What I’m describing here is the act of co-creation, relinquishing the need to have total control over our lives and handing the details over to God,” Rosen writes. “It involves believing that we deserve happiness … that the experiences, opportunities and people who will benefit us most will be delivered at the right time.
   
“Does that mean that we sit back and let life happen to us? No, nothing’s that easy. Our role and responsibility … is asserting what we want in the first place. I call this ‘setting intention for our lives’.”
   
The book takes readers through a life’s journey, pinpointing obstacles we all have bumped against through the years. Meditation exercises invite readers to contemplate, question and clarify how they stand in their own way again and again.
   
“I’ve come to believe that our purpose is to help heal the soul of the world,” Rosen insists. “We are here to do good, to be kind, to be loving.”

   

“Our ultimate goal in the end is to come as close to God-like as we can—our purpose is to serve others, and when ego gets in the way, selfishness creates a disconnect. We have two choices: love and fear. More and more, people—because of the state of the world—are slipping into fear.
   
“Religion is great so long as it empowers and connects us with truth and brings people closer to their God,” Rosen says. “Sometimes, religion can instill fear.”
   
Time and time again, devout individuals approach Rosen, but with trepidation and skepticism. They come to her because they can’t find the answers they need within traditional religious strictures—but their traditional upbringings have conditioned them not to trust what she says. And what Rosen says is that each of us has the answers, we can make it up as we go along and we can find our own words to speak to God directly.
   
“Religion can force-feed truth—versus coming to our own truth,” Rosen says.
   
“More and more of my clients are repulsed by the way religion was shoved down their throats,” says Rosen. “I have always been observant and respectful toward my religion. I take the pieces that work for me.”
   
Rosen is big on the idea of affirmations, personal prayers. Setting an intention for the day, closing eyes and breathing deeply to face a challenging situation, sending positive thoughts and “white light” toward a negative person—all of these are moments when Rosen encourages others to submit to quiet, to breathe, to pray for clarity.
   
She writes her own prayers all the time, but certain refrains from her youth, like the Sh’ma, resonate as handed down to us.
   
“I was taught the Sh’ma as a little kid and it rang true for me,” she says. “I could say Kaddish for those I’ve lost, but I say my own prayer for my loved ones who’ve gone. I don’t feel it’s OK for anybody to judge that. As Mother Teresa said, ‘In the final analysis, it is between you and God.’ It was never between you and them anyway.”

Shaker singer    

Psychic mediums like Rosen face their share of judgmental opinions. Mediumship is the term used to describe a form of communication with spirits. Every medium is a psychic, but not every psychic is a medium.
   
The word psychic derives from the Greek psychikos, which means “of the soul.” A psychic is someone who claims to gain information from more than the five apparent senses. This kind of connection figures in biblical texts, including the Book of Samuel (chapter 9, when Samuel is asked to locate the donkeys of the future king Saul). Prophets, priests and “seers” were prevalent in ancient Egypt and Assyria, too.
   
The first acclaimed psychic of modern historical note was Dr. Franz Antoine Mesmer, one of the forefathers of the Spiritualist movement in the U.S. People turned to him for healing, though his assertions were not regarded as strong or reliable.
   
Various churches and other groups have pursued spiritualist connections. In the 19th century, American Shakers created some of their most memorable music and artwork during a movement of spiritualist visions. (A historic recreation is in the photo at left.) In 1882, the Society for Psychical Research was founded by Sir William Barrett, Henry Sidgwick and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; the trio tried to build a scientific basis to support the mystery of psychic abilities. Spiritualist practices remain in some religious movements to this day. (To read more about America’s history with such independent movements, read this earlier ReadTheSpirit Conversation With Mitch Horowitz.)

   
In recent years, Rosen’s Spirit work has expanded from simply communicating messages from the dead to the living—to enabling the dead to be helpful to those still facing worldly challenges.
   
While her readings cost a pretty penny ($275 for 30 minutes, $500 for an hour are common rates), those who encounter her, privately and in mass audiences, seem to be sold.
   
I attended an audience reading by Rosen last year. Five hundred people gathered in a large room to listen to the petite psychic channel their beloved dead relatives and friends. She began the reading by holding up a charm bracelet and explaining that it “appeared” in her dressing room at an event in Nebraska two weeks prior.
   
She described the charms and the messages she’d been receiving from Spirit around the bracelet but said she had no idea why she had this to bring to Michigan. Suddenly, a mother and two teenage daughters stood, tears streaking their faces. They had recently lost a third daughter in a tragic accident— the charms represented the tattoos the girl had on her body and which the mother and surviving sisters had emblazoned on their skin since her death to honor her memory.
   
Rosen assured them that the woman they were mourning was at peace and still loved them. There was not a dry eye in the place.

   

A 2005 Gallup survey found that 3 in 4 Americans claim to have at least one paranormal belief, the most popular being extrasensory perception (ESP, at 41%). Thirty-two percent believe that spirits of dead people can return to connect with humans, and 26 percent believe in clairvoyance. Rosen has 10,000 clients, many of whom attend events and private readings repeatedly.
   
Did she ever think she’d be reading stars like Jennifer Aniston, appearing on “Nightline” and maintain a three-year wait-list?
   
“Never,” says Rosen. “I figured, at most, if I got my soul mate out of this … and I did.” Indeed, the way Rosen met her husband, Brian, is related to her psychic abilities—a story that’s part of her new book.
   
“Every obstacle in our life presents us with an opportunity to grow on a soul level,” Rosen writes in her book. That’s true even of her father’s suicide, which has made Rosen an ardent advocate through organizations like the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.
   
Rosen offers charity readings as well. She raises her standard rates substantially for people who want quicker placement than her regular wait-listed private readings. Then, she gives those fees to various charities. This form of fund raising is a growing part of her work, these days.
   
“I know that I’ve come from a pure place,” she says. “People get so caught up in the hustle and bustle. They become resentful, worried—it’s time to stop and just breathe.
   
“Nothing else exists except this moment.” The past has already passed, the future has yet to form. All we have is the here-and-now, Rosen teaches, and for that reason, “We all have a say in what comes next.
   
“We get to steer the ship. Just breathe. Breath is our connection to Spirit.”

   

Lynne Meredith Schreiber is a journalist and publicist in metro Detroit whose specialty is bringing people together and building community. Despite her own somewhat developed intuition, Lynne eagerly awaits her turn on the wait-list for a Rebecca Rosen reading.

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