Photo: Courtesy of Thomas John
When we walked in to meet with psychic and medium Thomas John, we were a bit apprehensive. We've had this feeling before: The wanting to know — but also the not wanting to know. Basically, just give us the good news. We also wanted to understand how he knows any of it at all. So, we sat down with T.J. (a nickname we coined) for an up-close-and-personal interview about what it's really like to be an out-of-this-world psychic. The result? An awe-inspiring account of connection to other realms, what it's like to be dating another psychic, and a little bit about the after life, too. Read on for an exclusive peek inside the world of one of NYC's top psychic talents. We're total believers now.
It seems like you have a really unique way of doing readings — it's like cards, but you're also meditating on it, as I saw you with your pen. Tell us about your specific kind of psychic-ness and how you came about it.
"Well, I started seeing spirits when I was three or four years old, and then I got away from it and then I came back to it. When I came back to it, I just started doing card readings. I didn't like Tarot cards though, because they were one dimensional and I didn't really connect with them. Then I started to see spirits again so I changed my methods using automatic writing, etc."
What is automatic writing, what are these cards, and how would you define clairvoyance?
"Well, these are oracle cards, so they're kind of like Tarot cards, but they're a little bit easier to read. Tarot cards are a little esoteric so they have like, a hanging man or demon. Mine are like mental conflicts, so you can pretty much understand what that one means. But I sometimes interpret the colors — somebody asked about their career and I pulled fertility and that means growth. If somebody asks, 'Am I going to have a baby?' and I pull fertility, that means you're going to have a baby.
So, there's a level of interpretation and then I'm sort of simultaneously writing. Sometimes I see things and get guided. It's a whole process."
Do these kinds of clairvoyant visions disrupt your day? And how often do you act on it if you're in close proximity with somebody? Let's say we were on the subway, do you think my grandmother would have approached you to speak to me, and if so are you the type of clairvoyant to address that?
"I normally protect myself and shut down when I leave work. People don't understand that it's not as fun for me to give somebody a reading as it is to get one. Some people think, 'Oh, I'm ready to read!' So when I leave work, I'm pretty much done and I make agreements with the spirit world and say, 'This is the agreement: Don't bother me unless it's really urgent.' Now it has happened that I have given messages to people in a coffee line, on a date, in the gym, and that's only when it has been of urgency, or somebody lost their dad yesterday and they're standing in front of me having coffee. It's not like your great grandma being like, 'Oh, hi!'"
Could you give me a spectacular story that's happened inside the office? One good, one bad.
"I think closure is huge for people. I just had a woman this morning who — her sister died 20 years ago, her husband shot her, she told me that she's been to mediums and she couldn't find her, and they always got her grandmother and her mom, but they couldn't find her sister, and today her sister came through. It was very special, her whole consciousness shifted. And then I've just had weird things happen. I had a woman who came once and her husband was coming through, but he wasn't dead and she said, 'This is bizarre because my husband is not dead.' But it was all stuff that went with him. And then she left and called a week later and said, 'My husband was dead. He had died while I was going to this reading.'"
How does this affect your own personal life? Does it inhibit you or aid you in your own interpersonal relationships?
"Dating? Well, I'm in a relationship with another psychic so…"
No way!! Is that like two therapists dating? Can you read yourself and can he read himself? Do you read each other?! I've got so many questions, how much time do we have?
"I don't really get stuff from myself, but yeah, we can read each other and it's pretty weird. Actually, I just moved and it was a very stressful process because I couldn't find a place. I finally applied for this place and they were giving me this most ridiculous time because I'm self employed. They see 'psychic' on the tax income (form) and they're like, 'What the hell?' I have good credit, but I always have some dramatic process where they want extra income, extra security. It's always an issue. So I asked my boyfriend, 'Do you think I'm gonna get this place?' I had applied for it on a Monday and I had put a deposit down and the application. He goes, 'Yeah! But not until text Monday.' And I was like, 'A week?! Why would I have to wait a week?' Sure enough, by some weird side story, I got the place the following Monday."
Do you get competitive with each other?
"No, not really. We work differently. I can't find missing things, I have no idea. I lose my wallet, my keys. That's just not my ability. He doesn't get as much, he's very empathic, he can find missing things, missing people, he has done a lot of stuff like that. I get names a lot. He doesn't get names, but he can describe to people what they look like. So it's just different flavors, but we're both cool with each other."
How do you become a better psychic?
"Praying and meditating, those are the two things. You have to be a clear vessel. There are all sorts of little tricks, I mean for example: diet, sleep, exercise, all those things help because it's all about having a blank slate."
Do you find people try to prove you wrong? And what's your reaction to that when they do?
"I always say that there's a difference between skeptical and cynical. Skeptical people say, 'I don't know what's going on, I'll just go and try it out.' If you're cynical, I could be telling you anything and you just don't care. I think most people are skeptical, and it's good to be skeptical. If somebody is gonna tell you that they can get messages about you, you should be kind of skeptical because there's kind of something you should relate to, in 20 minutes, you know?"
Did you have to practice giving people bad news, and how do you kind of, get that out of you?
"I get that a lot. I tell people, I don't give scary news, but I do give bad news. I don't tell people, 'You're going to die in 20 years and it's gonna be in a car accident.'"
But…can you see that stuff?
"Not really, no. I can see certain things. I ask to only be shown things that can help people. I have occasionally told people things that were true to help them avoid passing. But I had no knowledge of it at that time."
Like "don't go on the jet plane on Tuesday?"
"Yeah, like that."
A little psychic etiquette 101: Is it ok to tell a psychic you think they're wrong? Or tell them that it doesn't make sense?
"Yeah, it's ok to do that. You have to remember that we're interpreting. A good psychic is being shown symbols of things and interpreting them. It's not like we're reading your autobiography."
A lot of hairstylists get mad if you go to another hairstylist and come back to them. Is that also a psychic thing? Can you not mix potions?
"I recommend psychics all the time, it's just important to do your research. You shouldn't go to the ones that are on the street corners. You should really go to someone who has a good reputation, where you know their first and last names."
Last question, and it's a loaded one: What does your profession tell us about what happens after death? Do people have multiple lives?
"I was doing math the other day and I've given 20,000 personal readings. So I'm pretty convinced — if nobody else believes in life after death, I do. Because there's just no fucking way that some of this stuff would come through. There's just no way. And I know that it comes from the source and I know that there is life after death, for sure. What they've told me is that they continue on to learn other lessons. They learn about other feelings, emotions, experiences that we don't even have words for here. And they do try to help us and guide us and watch over us when they can. That doesn't mean that just because your grandmother died, you never have to go through a bad hair day. You still have to go through certain experiences here because that's the soul contract we have: we've signed up to learn lessons here."