No one notices anything odd because she’s just a normal person.
She won’t read you right now, anyway — she’s buying flowers.
A&E sat down with Echo Bodine — medium/psychic/healer/author/teacher/ghostbuster/all-around gal — to chat about groundedness, Ouija boards and slutty brownies.
Let’s start by getting the questions you’re always asked out of the way. What are some things you’re used to hearing?
The first question usually is, “How did you get into all of this?” The second question is usually, “Is Echo your stage name or your real name?” My real name is Echo Lee Bodine, and how I got into all of this? Oh my gosh, OK … [here Bodine launched into the oft-cited yet nonetheless interesting story of how she realized her potential at age 17. I couldn’t write all of it down, but it can be read about in her book, “Echoes of the Soul.”]
Do you remember certain instances before you knew you had the abilities?
In second grade I would know who was sick or who wasn’t coming back to school. It was confusing when I was little because I couldn’t understand why it was happening, but I assumed everyone did it.
Is that something that still happens? Or just in second grade?
I’ve learned to protect myself so that I don’t feel it anymore. I can walk by really sick people and not feel anything. Well, I can’t really say that. Now it’s more of a knowing like, “Oh, there’s something wrong with that person.”
What are some of the things you like to teach your students?
Intuition and psychic abilities are not the same thing. Two of the main psychic abilities are clairvoyance, which is seeing images, and clairaudience, which is hearing spirit. Both of these are in your head. Intuition is in your gut — it’s that feeling we all have that’s extremely accurate and never misleads us. It’s important to me that everyone knows how to communicate with their intuition.
Do you think anyone can harness psychic abilities?
It’s like this — I think that we all have the potential to be psychic just like we all have the potential to be a really good piano player, but a lot of us don’t want to play piano.
And there are a lot of people that sit down at a piano and their fingers fly.
That’s right. In my family, my mom and I had to take classes to develop our abilities, but my brother [celebrated psychic Michael Bodine] never took any classes. He’s just been psychic his whole life.
How accurate are all of the reality shows that have been popping up? “Long Island Medium?”
The shows are getting better about portraying things as they really are. Our family has been approached multiple times by production companies. They want sensationalism really bad. What I’ve heard is that for “Long Island Medium” they have to follow her throughout the week to get 40 minutes of accurate information. In a way, it’s a bummer because it gives people the impression that all psychics walk up to complete strangers and bring through their deceased relatives. We don’t do that.
Do people expect you to be a certain way?
People who come [to the Center for Intuitive Living] to interview me will ask me when I open the door, “Is Echo Bodine here?” They expect me to come out with big hoop earrings, my black cat on my arm, long dangling skirts and maybe a tooth missing. If you walked into my class on a Tuesday night you’d think it was a group of realtors in here — we’re normal people. … We just have these abilities. We live in both worlds. Like we see the deceased, but we’re at the grocery store.
Are there people in here right now?
No, it’s peaceful.
When you tell people [you’re psychic], do they feel like you owe them something?
Some people think we should be doing it for free, but it’s how we make a living. I get a lot of emails from people signing just their first name. “Hey, it’s Carrie. My dad died. Will you see if he’s OK?” Like really, that’s all I get? You think because this is an email I’ll know exactly who you’re talking about?
What are some common questions you get when you tell people you’re psychic?
“Can you read my mind? Do you know what’s going on with me? Can you see my secrets, and do you know when I’m going to die?” I don’t want to know your secrets. I don’t want to read your mind, and you can relax.
With a lot of what you [do to get in touch] with other people, is it ever hard to understand yourself?
It’s very hard to read yourself. If I’m stuck on something, I’ll call my brother. I do the same thing when I’m having trouble reading someone and they have a lot of blocks up.
Why do people get “blocked?”
They’re afraid of what they’re going to hear. [A lot of people ask about cancer or spouses having affairs.]
Can you explain spirit guides? How can we get in touch with them?
We all have spirit guides — they’re a guide for our soul that our soul picks out before we’re born. We can simply tell them that we want to be conscious of them. The thoughts and pictures that come throughout the day are often from our spirit guides, and at night our spirit guides and our souls chat. “Remember that past life?” “Oh yeah, I remember that past life. That was murder.”
How do we get that information?
If it’s important for the conscious mind to know, you’ll know. Maybe through a dream or you’ll wake up in the morning with clarity. A lot of times we just don’t consciously know what’s going on.
What does an average day look like to you?
The first thing I do when I wake up is sit on the side of my bed and listen to my intuition. I grab coffee, hit the office and check emails. I might do a reading during the day, but lately I’ve been concentrating on answering emails or writing a blog so I can come [to the center] at night and teach. I’m a late-night person, usually doing things until 2 or 3 a.m.
I like the night because it’s like the world is finally quiet, and I can just hear my own thoughts instead of all the chatter that’s constantly going on out there. Throughout the day I’m open to both sides, and I talk to my guides and my intuition. My parents are both deceased, and sometimes they come and talk, too. That’s the thing … it’s all really inside my head. I’m not much of an entertainer.
One more thing … let’s talk about those brownies you serve at meditations.
Ha! Slutty brownies. I didn’t make up the recipe or the name, I swear. You line the pan with cookie dough and then Oreos and brownie mix. They’re called that because they’re so easy.
Editor’s note: This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.