Author: cindygrogan14

Drag Queens and The Devil


I’m obsessed with drag queens.  I love them.  RuPaul’s Drag Race is my not-so-guilty pleasure, and To Wong Foo is one of my favorite movies.

From To Wong Foo: Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo and Patrick Swayze embracing their drag selves — and workin it!

Now what could a middle-aged Methodist from a small town who personally prefers Land’s End over Louboutins find in this world of sequins, wigs and general diva-liciousness?  I think it boils down to the flat-out fearlessness of these guys.

Seriously. How can you NOT love someone this fabulous?

Drag Race has showcased some of the backstories on their contestants. Not only have they each had to deal with the challenges of being a gay man, they add another layer by choosing to dress up as women.  Sadly, that’s alienated some of them from their families, gotten them beaten up and frequently made their daily life less than fun.

But  has it stopped them?  Hellllll-to the-no.  These guys embrace their wildly creative visions and put ’em out there in the world with a hip snap and “How ya like me now?” fierceness.  They are role models for overcoming Fear — or at least, not letting it hold them back from being who they want to be.

And this is where The Devil comes in (and no, not in the fundagelical homophobic sense).  Whenever this card comes up in someone’s reading, I remind them that the scary dude pictured is not actually Satan — it’s what he represents, which is fear.  Take a closer look:

He’s huge and scary.  The people beneath him are wearing chains, attached to heavy stones.  They are too terrified to move and think the stones wouldn’t budge anyway.  But wait– check out those chains again.   They’re loose and could easily be taken off.  It’s just that the folks are too freaked out by the Devil’s “ooga booga” hollering above them that they don’t know it.

To me, those stones represent the things that make us feel “stuck” in a bad place.  It frequently comes up with folks dealing with drug, alcohol, gambling, toxic relationships or other unhealthy things, but it also applies to any issue that makes you feel powerless.  The notion of change can be so overwhelming that it’s easier to stay stuck.  That’s the Devil, in your head,  telling you that you’ll fail, its too risky, you’re not good enough, yadda yadda yadda.

One thing I’ve learned is that the IDEA of your worst fear is actually worse than if it actually happens.  I once worried about losing a particular relationship; the thought of him ending it was too painful to even think about.  But when it happened, I had a revelation — I was still alive, it didn’t destroy me after all.  I was still my same bad-assed self –even with mascara running down my face (which a drag queen would never let happen).

So next time you’re facing That Thing That Always Trips You Up, remember the lesson of the drag queens:  put on your sparkly heels, lift off those tacky chains, tell Mr. Satan to kiss your fabulous ass and start walking towards something better.

Chad Michaels — love!

The No-Fear Zone

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I was doing a reading for someone the other day when this card fell out of the deck as I was shuffling (love when that happens…)

The Strength card is about taming those things that seem like they’re out of control:  appetites (whether it be for Thin Mints or a hook-up with that toxic person you can’t resist), emotions, situations.  The Strength lady is calmly closing the lion’s mouth, showing no fear.  She actually looks like she enjoys this.  Even in the face of something that could chomp her hand off, she’s all like, “Nice kitty…”    She’s perfectly aware that animals can smell fear (or when its time to go to the vet) — and she’s worn her extra-strength deodorant.

Fear is so pervasive in our lives, whether it be the kind that freaks you out when you go to the dentist — or the pervasive “dum dum DUM” of the news cycle.  To really overcome it, you need trust: in yourself, your support system, not to mention things bigger than we are (meaning: God, spirit, the Universe …whatever you want to call it).  Trust in our ability to face things that seem overwhelming — and deal with them — is the fundamental message of this card.

I also don’t think its random that the character in the Strength card is female.  Think of some of the badass women of history (fictional or otherwise) like one of my all-time favorites, Scarlett O’Hara.  She didn’t let a little thing like the Civil War get her down.

Wearing her mama's curtains to hustle the tax money for Tara...

….or this one.  Before she took the throne, Elizabeth was locked in the Tower for a time.  When she got wind of her sister, Queen Mary’s plan to have her executed, she wrote a long letter pleading her innocence.  She purposely took so long that the messenger had to wait til the next day to take it back, because the tide on the Thames had gone out.  That gangsta move bought her some time — and ultimately, her life.

…or this one….She walked out of an abusive relationship with something like 5 bucks and a gas credit card, and wound up with a whole bunch of Grammys.

"How ya like me now, Ike?"

….or even my new favorite, Big Ang from Mob Wives!  Just ’cause of her hats!

The point is, women have incredible reserves of intuition and wisdom to call on — even when they don’t think so.  We have put up with  a lot of crap.  And yet, we keep moving.  Even when we’re scared to death, we can make it look like we’re just waiting for our nails to dry.   To me, that’s the essence of the Strength card:  reducing all those things that look they’re a-gonna kill us to a whole bunch of “la la la I can’t hear you.”  That basic truth applies to the men out there, too.  The Strength lady has love for everybody!

BTW, if you need a reminder of your own Strength, just pick out an awesome hat.  Big Ang can help you!

“My kitty sees dead people!”

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I work as a psychic/medium – but don’t limit myself to two-legged clients.  I’m frequently asked to talk to pets, including those who’ve passed over.  And their take on that experience is pretty interesting.

Not quite the Spirit Pet I'm talking about....

Animals understand – on a very fundamental level — that death is merely a change from one form of energy to another.  I believe its because they’re closer to nature; they recognize the rhythms of life, and don’t attach so much baggage to them.

They also know that, while death may keep them from playing fetch, it doesn’t really separate them from their human friends. They still pop in to curl up on their favorite spot on the sofa, or patrol the house, making sure everyone is safe and sound.

"3 a.m. and all is well...."

A spirit pet will often help a living animal adjust to a new home.  In my volunteer rescue work, we placed a cat with a family who had just lost their sweet Pearl a few months before.  I strongly sensed  — and so did the new kitty – Pearl’s spirit.  But I also got that she was helping him figure out his new surroundings  and settle in.

Animal spirits frequently  “direct” their owners to their next pet. They know best what that person needs, so they’ll arrange for a certain stray to cross their path….or to spot an ad for a dog in need of a new home.  Its kind of like being a four-legged matchmaker!

"Hmmm....a Boxer mix dating a Yorkie? Not gonna work..."

Intellectually, most of us understand that we’ll be reunited with our furry loved ones at some point, but it’s a tougher sell to our hearts.  Right before you go to sleep, ask your spirit pet to make its presence known.  You may dream of them, or think you feel them jumping on the bed, or brushing up against you (they are).   Keep your radar up and you’ll start to sense them more often – because that powerful bond between us never dies.

An Angel On My Sofa


There’s been this thing going around on the Inter-webs, about “hosting” five of the archangels in your home.  You invite them to kick back with you for five days, before sending them on to visit 3 of your friends.  Kind of like a heavenly chain letter.  Anyway, all sorts of cool things are supposed to happen, so I figured, what the hell [oops — “heck.”  They ARE angels — so a little respect…]

"God? Yeah, we know him. Cool dude...."

Before they arrive, the house needs to be clean.  Makes sense; I mean, if the President were coming to visit, you’d clean the cat hair off the sofa, wouldn’t you?  So out came the Swiffer and Scrubbing Bubbles.

Then you set up a makeshift altar with some white flowers, and a candle that will burn the whole time they’re in residence.  I opted for one of those battery-powered ones. They look kinda tacky as they “flicker,” but if it keeps my house from going up in flames in the middle of the night, I’ll deal.  You write out 3 wishes and put them in an envelope, also set on the altar — and the last touch? An apple, which you eat after they leave.   Good thing it’s not a brownie — I would not leave THAT alone for five days.

Doesn't. Stand. A Chance.

Then, you wait. At 10:30 PM on the night they’re scheduled to arrive, you light the candle and open your front door to “welcome”  Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Metatron.  [Is it just me, or does “Metatron” sound like a creature from a Japanese monster movie?]  I pictured five very tall angels, tote bags in hand, checking out the digs like some old lady visiting her grandson’s girlfriend for the first time.

"When does 'Jeopardy' start?"

It DID feel like something “shifted” in the house. One of the cats ran upstairs, but he does that whenever I open the door.  I was suddenly tired and got the definite message, “Go to sleep.”  Maybe it was just because it was a little past my bedtime, but I didn’t question it.  I fell into a heavy, dreamless sleep.

For the next five days, I didn’t notice anything dramatic.  However, there seemed to be a lighter feeling to things.  I did get some “insights” out of the blue.  I was a wee bit nicer to people.  But the squirrels in my yard didn’t start talking to me or anything.

"Get me peanuts. The GOOD kind. And take the shells off...."

Once it was time for the angels to move on, I thanked them, burned the envelope with my “wishes” to release the energy to the universe, and ate the apple.  I was kinda hoping it would give me superpowers — but so far, my attempts at seeing through walls haven’t worked out.

I’m told  by others who’ve done this to keep a watchful eye for my wishes coming true, and to be aware of any little synchronicities that may occur in the coming weeks.  Fair enough.  Who am I to argue with how angels work?  I have to admit, it was fun to have a little magical ritual going on; and it was comforting to think I had my own NBA-sized protectors hanging about (and they didn’t even need to be fed).  While I partly expected miracles of the Biblical variety to occur, maybe it works on a subtler level.  Maybe being aware of the “little magic” that goes on, just out of range of our overloaded senses, is what its all about.  So I’m lowering my gaze from the heavens to my own backyard.  Thanks for the reminder, angels — and for kicking in beer money for the week.

Living In the Past (Life)

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There’s something really tantalizing about the idea of having lived before.  I’m not talking about that life before entering the Witness Protection Program — I mean the ones that had you riding alongside Charlemagne, or hanging on a barge with Cleopatra.  [Funny, you never want to think about the one you had as a chimney sweep in 18th century London…]

No one wants to admit having been THIS guy...

The Past Life Club essentially argues that we have lived multiple times, and that each of those lives were essentially one more “class” in the school of existence.  We had experiences, dealt with other humans, learned lessons.  You die, spend some time assessing it all, then come back for another go. When you finally get it right, you get to hang out  indefinitely in the heavenly stratosphere getting your feet rubbed while the rest of us slobs return to deal once again with human stuff like difficult relationships, making a living and acid reflux.

Like vacations, some past lives will be more memorable than others.  Hint:  if you are interested in any particular time period in history, that’s a pretty good indicator you lived back then.  For me, I’ve been obsessed with this guy:

Ladies, here's the poster boy for staying single...

…and his daughter….

The REAL Iron Lady....

Ever since I was a kid, anything about Tudor England has fascinated me — and I never knew why.  Then a psychic told me that I had been a court jester — specifically, a FEMALE court jester — during that era.   And a little research revealed that female jesters were relatively rare, and indeed, Elizabeth DID have one.  So that explains two things:

1) my interest in the time period and

2) my inherent wise-assiness

On two separate occasions, I was told that I’d had lives in medieval France, as a nun…

Black and white, always an easy wardrobe choice on busy days.

Again, doesn’t explain my lousy command of the French language.  DOES explain my currently-dismal dating life.

Decoding past lives is one way to shed some  light on patterns we’ve carried over into this one.   Again, it’s one way (therapy is another). But for some, the idea of past lives can become addictive. I’ve encountered more than a few people who routinely blame whatever’s going on right now on a “past life.”   One client of mine refused to actively engage in the life he had going on right here, right now, because he was waiting to be “reunited” with someone from a past life.  Another spends all his time seeking out hypnotherapists who will help him explore yet another existence….and another…and another (yawn).  Personally, I think it’s ’cause he’s bored with his present situation.

The purpose of examining a past life lies in what it can teach you about THIS one. If you can spot a pattern, find a lesson, learn something, then it becomes more than just New Age wallpaper.  The key is to discover it, use it — then move forward.  Your task is to make the most out of the life you’ve been given NOW. Because if you spend all your time looking backwards, you’re gonna get run over by the Express Bus to the future.  And skid marks on the face are not a good look on anyone.

Psychic Phone Tag

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One of the subjects I’m most asked is about psychic readings that are done over the phone, versus in person:  how do they work?  Are they as accurate as an in-person reading?  And why would you want one?

Let me break it down for you, starting with the last part:  why would someone want a phone reading instead of sitting down with your reader.  Answer:  for the same reason shopping online beats dealing with the mall.  It’s waaaay convenient.  Just imagine:  there you are, in your comfy pants [and I KNOW you have them],

Hopefully, these are not them...

on the couch, perhaps with a cocktail nearby.  On a rainy, snowy, or otherwise totally busy day, that beats having to drive one more place, in my book.

Seriously. Do you want to have to go out in THIS?

Phone readings are also great when you’ve found a reader you really, really love — but he/she happens to be geographically undesirable.  I like a certain reader in New Orleans [yes, psychics get readings for themselves too], and call her once or twice a year for my own personal “check up from the neck up.”

As to how a phone reading works, its really no different than a reading done in person.  When I schedule my clients, I have my cards, crystals and reading mat at the ready, and a headset to keep my hands free.  A time is arranged for the call, and all the client has to do is sit back, relax and soak up the information.  They may miss out on the smell of incense or the music I normally have in the background during a private reading, but that’s it.  No biggie.

...Operators are standing by...

Is the information as accurate as if the client were right in front of you?  Yes.  Basically, what’s happening during any reading is that the client’s Higher Self and the reader’s Higher Self are having a little chat out there in the atmosphere.  The information trickles down to the humans involved, where its then relayed.  Whether said humans are sitting across from each other, or on opposite ends of a phone line doesn’t matter.  It’s a whole “Time/Space” thing, meaning that neither of those really “exist” on the spirit level.  Get it?  Me neither, but that’s what I’m told by my guides.  At any rate, and having done tons of phone readings for people all over the country, I know its true.

So next time you’re feeling the need for some psychic insights — but your schedule is just off-the-charts crazy — don’t be afraid to leave the car in the garage, and just pick up the phone.  I’m right here.  In my comfy pants.

“Well done, Medium Raya”

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The headline is a line from one of my all-time favorite shows, I Love Lucy.  In an old bit from their vaudeville days, Fred introduces Ethel, who’s posing as a medium in order to lead a seance which will hopefully impress Ricky’s spirit-obsessed new boss.  Here’s a little taste…

Having done my share of working with spirit, I can pretty much attest to the fact that it does NOT go down the way it does in Lucy.  For one thing, I don’t wear a turban — way too Norma Desmond/”Sunset Boulevard” for my taste.  And unless the lights go out in the bathroom while I’m putting on my makeup, my eyeliner is on straight.  There are a few other aspects of connecting with the spirit world that my clients tend to ask me about, so off we go.

First off, a medium and a psychic are not the same .  A medium specifically works to communicate with the spirits of those who’ve passed on.  A psychic tunes into the energies of people [living, generally], places and things, to provide an insight.  The process of mediumship and psychic reading is similar, in that you’re “turning off” your own brain and allowing your Higher Self to take over and receive information from a source beyond the everyday – but the goals are different.  They’re essentially two different channels on the same radio.  Simply put, all mediums tend to be psychic — but not all psychics are necessarily mediums.  [For those of you reading this with experience as a medium or psychic, I know, I know:  this is a waaaaaay simplified description.  Let me know what you think in the “Comments” section below.  Now back to our regularly scheduled blog….]

As in baseball, ballet or pro-wrestling, some people are born with a gift and it takes hardly anything to bring that gift to the forefront [we hate those people].  The rest of us can learn their particular skill, but it takes some doing, and some will be better at it than others.  I believe that’s the case with psychic ability — and to some extent, mediumship.  It’s a natural function, but some have the volume on their particular radio turned way up loud, and tuned in perfectly right from the git-go; the rest of us need to fiddle with the dials.

I began working only psychically, but after some profound experiences with the spirit world, I made  a conscious decision to develop my own mediumship abilities.   Unlike many mediums, I wasn’t talking to my dead granny as a child;  I pursued this as a discipline, because it intrigued me and because it was a way to deepen my service. To that end, I spent some time at the Arthur Findlay College outside of London, considered the “Harvard” of spiritual studies.  I joined students from all over the world — and at all levels of expertise — who were there to sharpen their ability to recognize the presence of spirit, connect with it and convey messages.

It kicked my ass.

The coursework involved getting highly specific details about spirits, then trying to connect them with someone in the group.  The focus on “specifics” is two-fold:  1) to confirm that there is indeed life after death and 2) to combat the  perception of mediumship as a bunch of hooey (keep reading for more on this).

As if this wasn’t challenging enough, add in language and cultural differences, jet lag, and heavy English cuisine, and its no surprise that I was completely, utterly knackered at the end of each day.

...and needed one of these, STAT...

One of the things that made the experience — and mediumship, in general — so tricky, is that the information passes through a very human filter.  Speaking only for myself, I don’t get the message verbatim:  I pick up images, words, feelings from the deceased and try to interpret it.  So it’s hard not to try and figure out what things mean, rather than just giving it, “as is.”  The logical part of your brain wants it to make sense.  Your ego doesn’t  want to be wrong.  Yes, there are super-gifted mediums out there with very high rates of accuracy — good for them.  But no one is 100 percent right all the time.  Not even John Edwards, Sylvia Browne or Alison DuBois [BTW, my fellow reality TV fans,  did you SEE her on that infamous episode of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”?  Holeeee crap!]

Just for the record, I'm waaay better behaved at dinner parties....

You should also know that you may not always hear from the person you hope to hear from.  Being a medium is like having the only working wi-fi in a crowded airport:  a lot of folks are gonna try and jump on it.

Yeah, it's kinda like this.

Just like when they had a pulse, some spirits are still bossy.  Others have a very important message they want you to hear, which will take precedence over just hearing “hi” from your dead mother.  You can certainly ask that special person to come through during your session — and personally, I do my best to link in to that spirit. But know that you hear from who you’re supposed to hear from and get the message you’re supposed to get.

At this point, I have to mention the unfortunate reality of phony mediums.  These are the people who cynically target those in grief or in need, bilking them out of peace of mind, not to mention, cash.  I think there’s a special place waiting in Hell for them.   You don’t mess with someone’s grief.  You don’t take advantage of their pain.  If you do, well, let’s just say, “Karma is a big, sparkly bitch.”  And not in a good way.

Good thing Patrick Swayze redeemed your fake-ass before the movie ended...

My own experience with the spirit world has shown me that those who’ve crossed over are generally pretty positive. They’ve been released from physical pain, they’re with people they haven’t seen in years, they don’t have to deal with stupid bosses, mortgages or traffic, and that whole “death” thing turns out to be pretty cool.  They care about those left behind and want them to know that the problems of this world are, in the end, just not such a big production.  So for a faker to tell a vulnerable client that they’re “cursed”, or that the spirits are angry, or some such baloney (and oh, by the way, you can appease them by letting him/her do a ritual at the low, low price of $2500) makes me want to deliver a serious beat-down.

A session with a medium is a very personal, intimate thing.  You may find yourself sharing details of a difficult relationship or a tough situation, so its best to find someone who comes highly recommended and is above all, a professional.  You should leave feeling empowered, positive and uplifted.  You should have a sense of peace or closure. You should NOT be scared, worried or in a hurry to empty your wallet in order to rid yourself of some bad mojo.   Yes, a reading from a qualified medium does cost money — and there’s nothing wrong with that.  After all, it IS a skill that takes time, training and a lot of physical energy.  But there’s a huge difference between paying a one-time fee for a one-time service — and feeling pressured to hit the ATM repeatedly as the price for fighting off bad spirits, curses and random hoodoo.  Trust me, your loved ones on the other side could care less about your money because (psst!): they don’t have checking accounts in Heaven.

2012 – Destination, Fabulous

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Thanks to our friends, the Mayans, there’s been a lot of talk about how 2012 will bring about the end of the world.  Jeeze…talk about a buzzkill.  Although come to think of it,  there ARE a few things that make me think there’s something to those rumors.  Like this…

One sign of the coming Apocalypse..

or this….

Her Satanic majesty…

But despite the temptation to buy into the doomsayers and fear 2012 as 12 months of fire, brimstone, and  [god help us] Kardashians, I have a different view.

It’s pretty obvious that the last two or three years have brought massive change and more than a few freaky natural disasters.   From Occupy Wall Street to crazy weather, Penn State to the Fukushima nuclear plant, the news seems to have been more “WTF?” than usual.  My clients have also been undergoing their own personal upheavals, some of them off-the-charts dramatic.  All of this is happening for a reason: we’re offloading the old ways and making way for the new.  I feel this in my bones and think this is the “end of the world” that the Mayans really meant. Change is never easy [see: “New Year’s Resolutions, Volumes 112 through 183”] so you need to expect some pushback, but its exactly that  friction that creates positive change.  So let’s use it.

While 2012 is still fresh and new, take a moment to determine what positive things you want the year to bring.  This “setting of your intention” is like programming a GPS.  If you’re driving from New York to San Diego, you’d have a general idea of how to get there as you start out.  Where — in general — do you want to get to this year?  Granted, just like in your cross-country adventure, there will be side trips, detours and stops along the way [in my case, I always stop anyplace that offers pie].

My new best friends

Of course, you’ll need to recalculate as the months go by.  But if you have an overall destination in mind, your journey will make a lot more sense.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with tons of details; check in with your heart and spirit and listen to what they’re telling you:  “Better health,”  “A great relationship,” “Financial security.”  The simple essence is all you need. Jot your intention(s) down and stick it somewhere where it can soak up your energy — maybe in a box by your nightstand, or in a book that has meaning to you.  The simple act of declaring what you really want is enough to realign the universe.  By the way, do yourself a favor:  don’t twist yourself in knots trying to figure out “how” something is going to happen — or how it “should” happen.   Unlike traditional goal-setting exercises, “intention” is a lot lighter.  It breathes.  Intention is elastic, allowing for coincidence, synchronicity and magic to creep in and bring you opportunities to act and move forward.

Remember too, that when you hit a pothole, let it serve as a reminder or a warning:  what is it telling you?  Deal with it, and keep moving.

As for me, I intend for all of us to have a wonderful, healthy and happy year.  I intend that we move forward easily on our individual paths and as  “one tribe” [shout out to the Black Eyed Peas]. I intend that this blog be a source of useful, uplifting and fun information to help you make it a great journey.

And I intend that, this time a year from now, we can all look back and do a Happy Dance.

“I haz a happy!”

Happy 2012, y’all.  Especially to the Mayans in the house.