Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Interview with a psychic and author - Melissa Alvarez - Part I by Deb Julienne

Understanding psychic abilities with Melissa Alvarez

Do you believe in psychics? Have you ever read a book with psychic characters and wondered if they were portrayed realistically? In this interview with internationally renowned clairvoyant advisor and paranormal romantic suspense author, Melissa Alvarez, who writes as Ariana Dupré, we’ll delve into what it’s like to be psychic and how this one author portrays these abilities in her novels.

Melissa has worked in the publishing industry in many different roles. She was the Guide To Romance Fiction at About.com for a year and a half before she expanded her self-publishing company, New Age Dimensions. During the two years that the company operated as a small press Melissa published all genres of books with a focus on psychic fiction and paranormal romance. After Hurricane Wilma forced her to revert the company back to a self-publishing entity, Melissa began writing full time. She’s has two books available from Cerridwen Press and another scheduled for release next year. Melissa is also listed as a psychic with The Lotus Circle and has a couple of nonfiction metaphysical titles in the works.

When it comes to psychic abilities, a person may tap into one or two specific abilities while others may utilize many more depending upon their vibrational level. In Melissa’s case she is able to use many different abilities. I asked Melissa if she could tell us about some of the different types of psychic abilities that she is able to utilize when she does readings for others. Here’s a listing of some of the abilities she uses on a daily basis.

Clairaudience: Clear audio/hearing—intuitively hearing from the spiritual realm that which isn’t normally audible in the everyday physical world.

Clairempathy: Clear emotion—to actively feel/sense the emotions/attitudes of another.

Clairscent: Clear smelling—to smell odors or fragrances from the spirit/ethereal realms.

Clairsentience: Clear feeling/sensations. In this instance, the psychic has an insight or “knowing” of a hidden or forgotten fact. They feel it throughout their whole body without any outside stimulation.

Clairtangency/Psychometry/Object Reading: Clear touching—to hold or touch an object or area and perceive information about the article, such as its history and owner, which wasn’t previously known. Psychometry enables a psychic to pick up vibrations left on an object by someone connected with it. Someone with this ability could use an unfamiliar object to reveal much about its owner.

Clairvoyance: Clear vision—the psychic ability to see visions without using your eyes; an intuitive knowledge of people and things; to perceive within the mind’s eye something that exists in the spiritual or ethereal realm.

Conscious Channel Medium: One who receives messages from the spirit realm through any psychic ability without going into trance.

Empathy: The talent to sense the needs, drives, and emotions of another.

Past-Life Regression/Future Progression: The recall of a past-life or lives—information about different incarnations, through the subconscious mind, by the use of techniques such as hypnosis or through conscious channel. Also the obtaining of information regarding simultaneously existing future lives through the same methods.

Precognition: Quite simply, “knowing.” Since no one psychic can ever know every detail about the future, this ability refers to knowing general outcomes of specific courses of action, with occasional flashes of detailed insight. (In other words, no one can ever really “know” the future, only that a certain path will lead to a certain place—but if that “path” changes, the predicted outcome can change, as well.)

In order to understand more about the way psychic abilities work, I asked Melissa some very specific questions about her background and experience with being a clairvoyant advisor. I also wanted to know how she portrays psychic characters in fiction. My interview with Melissa follows:

Deb) How old were you when you first began to see there was something different about you?

Melissa) When I was fourteen I experienced a sudden illness. It was very much like the flu but I was unable to raise my head from my pillow without feeling intense pain. The doctor couldn’t give us a diagnosis other than what wasn’t wrong with me. Oddly enough, I saw an elemental spirit that morning who told me that I would get very ill and afterwards I would be able to "know" things. This was very strange for me because I really thought I was hallucinating. It was the first time I’d ever seen a spirit manifest and I didn’t know that was what had happened until later on in my life. After the illness ran its course I started to know things. I’d have a certain feeling about people and would get glimpses of things that had happened to them or that didn’t make sense at the time but would later happen to the person. This was when I realized that something was different. Since then, I found out that psychic abilities run on both sides of my family for many generations and that the illness just brought out the abilities that I'd had since birth. When I was younger my parents had noticed that I saw life differently but just attributed it to a "vivid imagination". It was only when I became an adult and talked openly about my abilities that they told me about relatives in our family tree that also had abilities similar to mine.


Deb) What was that one defining moment when you had to stop and realize there was something different about you. What was it? Where did you go to find answers?

Melissa) When I began to know things that would happen after my illness. Once I realized that people looked at me differently when I talked about the things that I saw, felt or just knew, I decided to keep my mouth shut. As a teenager, I didn’t want to be different from my peers, and my abilities not only made me different in their eyes but made me just plain weird to them.
For many years I tuned it out, thinking it would go away, but it didn’t. In my twenties, when the abilities started getting stronger and I was at even more of a loss as to why this was happening to me, I read as much as possible to try to figure it out.


Deb) How did you learn to cope with it?

Melissa) It was very difficult. I had to learn to accept the abilities and claim them as my own, which took me a long time to do. I’m skeptical by nature and always look for a logical answer first but when things happen to you that don’t have a logical explanation you learn that there is more to life than what you can see with your eyes. In my case, I had things happening to me on almost a daily basis. I learned to live with it after a while because I realized it wasn’t going away. I’m not one to quickly say that everything that happens is truly of a metaphysical nature. I decide if it is or not by ruling out the normal and logical possibilities first.


Deb) How did both affect/effect you and how do you see this "gift" you've been given.

Melissa) At first I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then, when people made fun of me because of the things I said and when I couldn’t explain the why of some of the things I saw, I became afraid of my abilities and tried to ignore them. Eventually, when I had no other choice but to learn or stay afraid, I studied on my own by reading metaphysical books. I took what made sense to me and discarded the rest. The more I grew spiritually and understood that this was a gift to use to help others then I became less afraid. For me I went through an array of emotions – hated it, loved it, feared it, wished it would go away and then when I was pregnant they did go away and I wished they would come back. LOL Now, I see my abilities as a gift that I’ve been given to help others. This was the elemental’s message all along, but it took a long time for it to sink into my thick skull. The emotional responses from the people I read for telling me how much I helped them and how accurate the reading was for them is what keeps me doing readings.


Deb) What was the best bit of information you got to pass on to someone?

Melissa) There have been so many amazing readings over the years but I think the best is when I’m able to give messages to someone that they really connect with by offering information that there is no way I could have known except to get it through the use of my abilities. When those impressions help them through a difficult time it means the world to me. I never discuss specifics of readings because I feel the information is private and only for the person I receive it for. I’m just the delivery girl. Normally I don’t remember specifics of readings after I’ve done them so I always tell people to write down what I saw or print out their readings because I will surely forget them.


Deb) What was the worst?

Melissa) Anytime I see bad things happen it’s difficult. It’s really hard for me to see missing people on television or crimes because I’ll get impressions about them and sometimes it’s not things that I particularly want to know.


Deb) What absolutely scared the bejesus out of you?

Melissa) I was a teenager and I was talking on the telephone in our pantry. It was the only place you could have any privacy in a large family and the room was only about 10 x 10. There was one chair in the room so you could sit and talk on the phone with your back against the shelves. I was sitting there blabbering away with my best friend when I felt someone put their hand on my shoulder and squeeze. My back was against the shelves and it scared me half to death. There was absolutely no way anyone could have been behind me. I dropped the phone and ran out of the room and left my friend just hanging. I wouldn’t go back in there for a while. Thank goodness she hung up when she figured out I wasn’t coming back to the phone.


Deb) What do you wish people would ask you?

Melissa) I don’t really wish for anything specific. I think people should ask what is on their mind and what they’re having a problem with to see if I can get any impressions that will help. I think that if people would ask more about their life purposes instead of worrying so much about the mundane little things in life that it would be very helpful to them. I think once we understand the bigger picture than the smaller worries fall into place.


Deb) What do you wish people would not ask you?

Melissa) Questions about other people, medical questions or ask me to read their children. I have very few rules about my readings but people always ask me to do these types of readings when I state very clearly on my website that I won’t read do them. Other than that, any question is okay with me because I feel that I will be shown what will help them the most and what they need to know – even if what they need to know isn’t what they want to hear. I don’t sugarcoat my readings, but I do deliver them in a kind and hopefully helpful manner. And I’m not 100% accurate so I wish people wouldn’t expect that or base major decisions only on what I say. You always have free will to change what may come through in a reading. I’ll be the first one to tell you that no psychic is 100% accurate. If they say they are – run away as fast as you can because they’re not telling you the truth and if they lie about that they’ll lie about other stuff.

Deb) What one thing about psychics do you wish you could educate people about?

Melissa) I’d want them to know that there are a LOT of frauds out there who make those of us who truly have gifts and use those gifts to help look bad. There are some psychics who are gifted but who do readings for self-glory instead of just to help. I don’t think that’s the right way to present yourself or your abilities, but that’s just my opinion. I’d also like for them to know that just because someone is psychic doesn’t mean the automatically know your deepest darkest secrets. I only look into situations when I’m asked or if I’m suspicious about someone in my daily life. I learned a huge lesson about this recently. I used to never look when it came to people in my daily life because I felt it was an invasion of privacy. Recently someone we trusted abused our horses when he was supposed to be caring for them, which taught me that it’s okay to look to protect your own.


Deb) Have you ever gone to a psychic? About what? Did you feel better after talking to them?

Melissa) I sure have. Sometimes I’ve felt better, sometimes I’ve felt worse and some of them scared me half to death with their negative readings. Other times I’ve turned the tables on fraudulent psychics and read them (with their permission of course) and left them speechless. Now that I know better, a psychic has to prove themselves to me. They have to prove that they’re accurate, grounded and are truly trying to help others. I’ve been scammed just like most people by fraudulent psychics, but that happened more when I was still learning about and understanding my abilities.


Deb) What should we know about a specific psychic before we ask for their services. (i.e...is there a group they should be registered to prove they are legit...like the AMA?)

Melissa) Well, if it’s someone you’re going to visit in person check their references. And NEVER believe everything they say. You really have to feel a psychic out – if they’re online do they have a good reputation? What are their business practices? Are they fair and honest on their website? Write to them and ask about the readings and see how they respond. I’d really be wary of people who claim that they can make someone love you, return a lost love, or get even with someone for you. I also can’t stand it when psychics give someone a negative reading then tell them to come back for another reading that will cost an arm and a leg. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve helped people who another psychic has scared with a terribly negative reading and told them to give them a stupid amount of money for them to fix things for them. That’s a rip off artist and if you ever have a reading like that demand a refund immediately or refuse to pay and report the person. There really aren’t a lot of places that certify psychics that I know of unless they certify you and then want you to only work for them. I was certified years ago but the company has since gone out of business. During the certification I had to provide accurate readings and prove my abilities. I’d also look at the organizations that the psychic is a member of, if any, and if they had to prove themselves as accurate in order to become a member. To me that holds more weight than a certification after their name.


Deb) Can you give us some reputable names as an example?

Melissa) First let me say that for me to recommend a psychic it has to be someone that I personally know whose business practices are ethical whose accuracy level is very high and who will stand by their readings. They must be someone that I would let read me and would trust that what they saw was accurate. They have to have proven to me that they are a trusted and accurate psychic.

When it comes to individual psychics – I know a lot of them who are very good but again – if I’m going to put my name behind someone as a recommendation it has to be someone that I know is ethical and accurate and I have to say there are only two of them that meet all of my personal criteria in what I look for in a psychic. So, my recommendations for other reliable, accurate psychics are:
Sally Painter – Sally is just starting to give readings to the public in 2008. She is probably the most accurate psychic that I know. She’s very ethical, grounded in her approach to both things of a psychic nature and the paranormal. I trust her readings without question because she’s read for me so many times and has been accurate in the messages she’s seen. She’s the only psychic I know who can truly read the Akashic Records and is accurate in her delivery of the text. Sally’s using her blog for readings right now until her psychic site is launched. The link is http://www.sallysmidnightnews.blogspot.com .
Annette Martinez – I’ve known Annette for many years. She started out as one of my clients for psychic readings and over time became a good friend. She learned to develop her own abilities and is now doing readings on her own website located at http://www.freewebs.com/missannette80/index.htm . Annette is very accurate in what she sees and is an ethical psychic. She offers affordable readings via email and chat on her site.
As far as organizations go I’d recommend the OPDR which stands for Online Psychics and Divination Readers. The directory is located here: http://www.opdr.net/directory/members.html The owner has branched out into phone readings and while I can’t speak for the psychics he has on the phone lines, and I’m not recommending his phone psychics, I can tell you that the ones listed in the directory are the original members of OPDR (I’ve been a member since 1999 or 2000) who had to give accurate readings to the owner before they could be listed in his directory. So, I’d recommend the ones listed here because I know what I had to go through to become a member and they went through the same process. There aren’t any other “groups” of psychics that I’ll put my name behind.


Deb) What do you absolutely hate reading in a story, on how psychics are perceived.

Melissa) What bugs me more than anything are authors who write about psychics and don’t believe in anything of a metaphysical nature. To me that just says “Hey look, I jumped on the psychic fiction/paranormal bandwagon to sell a book.” Even if someone hasn’t had an experience yet that’s fine but they should believe it’s possible and they should really do their research to make sure the psychic sounds true to life and not too stupid to live. Because, believe me when I say that someone reading it will be able to see right through things that aren’t researched accurately. It also bugs me when authors make the psychic look like an idiot and a flake that doesn’t have a brain but relies on their “powers”. I personally never call psychic abilities “powers” because to me that isn’t what they are. Super heroes have powers, not psychics. It’s bad enough that psychics have to deal with those kinds of labels in our everyday lives but to have to read it in the books we purchase is just downright annoying. Usually when I run across a book like this I just give it away after only getting partly into the story.


Deb) I guess now is the time to admit I'm totally awed by you and your gift ,so if some of my questions seem stupid or ignorant...just know that...and of course, I'm blonde...that should cover everything else :-P ...and yes I love poking fun of myself...no one does it better than me, as you'll come to find out.

Melissa) Awww…..thank you. But you don’t have to be awed. This is just something that I do. It’s a part of me that I’ve had to learn to embrace and it wasn’t a piece of cake to do at times. Thank you for the complement. I really appreciate it. You don’t sound stupid or ignorant at all. The only way people can learn is to ask questions. Besides, I know some great, smart, intelligent blondes – just like you.


Deb) If you use Tarot, what decks do you like?

Melissa) I only use one deck. I was in a bookstore when I was in college and they had some decks in a glass display case. I looked around the store and kept being drawn back to the deck. At that time I didn’t even know what the cards were for, but knew that I was supposed to have that one deck. So I bought it. It’s the Rider Deck and the only one I use for readings but I have several other decks now that I use for myself.


Deb) Do you find it hard to read for people you are close to?

Melissa) I find it easy to read people whether they’re close to me or if I’ve never met them before. It’s just the way I receive the information.

Deb) I have a character in a new book I'm writing...with her she only has a dream...and only occasionally...until one night the dream gets all the way up to when she gets burned in a previous life...in my case I had her waking up startled and in pain..with a burn/blister becoming pronounced....First off, is this even possible...second? Second...this specific event has her going to shrink...so upon seeing the burn and hearing what she has to say, send her to a regressionist. That said...what would her specific experience be called?

Melissa) Well, I guess anything is possible. I’ve never experienced a dream where I woke up with something on me but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I’ve never really heard of that though so I don’t really know what you’d call it. I’ve recalled past lives through dreams but never with a physical result. If I had to put a name on this I’d probably call it past life recall with physical manifestation. I recently read a book that had this happen in it. With fiction you have creative license in the world you create. With me the one thing I always try to portray accurately is how a psychic’s abilities work and how they act and react regarding them. In my February release, Talgorian Prophecy, I have shape-shifters. I’ve never known anyone that could do this so for me it’s creative license regarding them. If I ever meet someone who can shape-shift then I’ll have to change the way I portray them to reflect how it really happens. In life, as in fiction, anything is possible.


Deb) How to ask an appropriate question to a psychic.

Melissa) Basically you just ask it with an open mind. When a person is clear they’re easier to read than if they’re trying to block the psychic. Most people who go to a psychic do so because they need help. When they block, it’s harder to help. I’ve had to tell people in the past to relax and stop blocking so I could read them. Then you also get people who intentionally try to trick you or to prove you wrong. I won’t even read people like that anymore if I sense that’s what they’re doing. I don’t mind people testing me but I don’t like people trying to trick me.

On my website under the FAQ’s section I have a question called “What do I have to do for a reading?” Here’s what I tell people who are seeking guidance from me:
First you should relax then clear your mind and focus on your question and the situation surrounding your request for a reading. Then imagine the energy that you have created from around this question flowing into the computer screen. Focus the energy into the screen detaching it from yourself, then release it while imagining that it is traveling to me. That's it!
For best results from your reading I do ask that you follow these guidelines:
1. Request a reading with an open mind. No psychic on this earth is 100% right and although we may be very accurate not everything is going to be perfectly matched to your life. I will not have every answer that you are looking for, but I may have several that will help you. God gave us all free will and it is up to us to do with our lives as we see fit. I can't fix all of your life's problems, nor can anyone else, but I can offer the impressions that I receive as possible solutions. Ultimately, it's all up to you and how you react to your situation and the decisions you make in your life. Your destiny is in your control. It's your choice as to how you will use the information you receive in your reading, whether that means keeping it or discarding it.
2. Remember that some of the things that I receive may not be happening right at this specific moment in your life, but I am being given the information because you are supposed to have it. It could be an event that will be coming up in your future or what I am seeing may be a variation of a situation you're currently experiencing. For instance - I may see you looking for a new car and I see it as white when you are actually looking for a tan car. The fact is you are looking for a car - right? Or you may be looking for a new job and I see you working as an attorney. But you're a secretary at a doctor's office and have no interest in the legal field. So you think this could never apply to you. But say in six months the doctor moves to another state and closes his office and you are offered a position as a paralegal in an attorney's office? Well, that part of your reading didn't apply to you six months ago but it sure applies now doesn't it? Those are the kind of things I'm talking about and why it's important to keep an open mind.
3. Don't try to purposefully trick me just to prove me wrong. What good is that going to do? Make you feel proud so you can call me a fake? That's ok if you want to have an attitude like that but if that is your attitude I am requesting that you do not order a reading from me. As I have just said - there are no psychics that are 100% accurate. Only God knows all. If you come into the reading thinking that I'm going to be wrong then you are blocking your vibrational energy and it makes it harder for me to do your reading.
4. Don't expect me to tell you only what you want to hear. I will give you all the information that I receive because I feel that is my duty. I don't think that I would be given the information if it is not important and relevant to your life. I made an agreement with myself many years ago that I would tell everything that I received even if the information isn't that great. I can only be true to myself and my gift by being truthful and honest with you and I believe that this is how God wants me to use this gift.
5. Enjoy your reading, print it out and save it for future reference. And if you feel that I was of help to you then send me an email to let me know or come back and see me again in the future.

Deb) Define open mind and remember, I'm a blonde...so what do you mean when a person is clear???? Define Block?

Melissa) Open minded means that you’re able to consider all the possibilities instead of just thinking “no way”. When a person is blocking they subconsciously or consciously put up a wall of energy around them to keep others out including the psychic that is reading them. This actually happened on my November 30th show so if you listen to the end of it you’ll hear what I mean. The reading section starts around 60:00 on the counter on the show page. You let it start playing then click on the bar under my picture about 2/3 of the way across. In this situation, Sally was unable to read the caller at all and I just got lots of scattered energy. She didn’t like it when I told her to drop her defenses and she said “interesting” and then the call disconnected but I didn’t know it and kept talking. LOL I’m not sure if she hung up or the call dropped. My impression was that she hung up because I got other impressions that someone else put her up to calling in and that it was a test of sorts. Anyway, I hope the call just dropped. When I say a person is clear that means they’re open minded and are interested in what I have to say. They don’t block and have an open mind about the reading.


Deb) How to use a psychic and the information they give you to better yourself...or better your career, etc.

Melissa) Well, I wouldn’t “use” the psychic – we’re people too and being psychic is just a gift we’re given. What I always tell people is that they should take the reading, print it out and refer back to it. They should also take what applies to them right now and work on those areas by looking deeper into them and following any guidance that the psychic has given you that feels right to you. People shouldn’t blindly follow a psychic’s advice. Leave the things that don’t apply right now for another time because they may come into play later. There have been plenty of times that I’ve read for someone and they’ll tell me “Oh this will never happen because of so and so and such and such”. Then six months later they’ll write back to tell me that what I’d predicted just happened. I love that kind of feedback.


Deb) See for me I just don't know enough to know how to ask the right questions....I wouldn't know how to define or refine a question to have it say what I mean and mean what I say...I know...just remember I'm the blonde...bottled these days, but just as blonde!

Melissa) It’s really just asking what you want to know. Make sure the psychic knows what you’re saying before they start the reading. If you’re having a hard time getting the question out just make sure they understand, at least generally, what you’re looking for before they go searching for the answer on your behalf.

Message from Melissa: I wanted to add that the feedback from the people I read for is what keeps me doing the readings for the public. When people tell me that what I saw made sense to them and affected or helped them in some way, then I know that I’m on the right track with what I’m doing. There are also times when readings may mean a lot to a person but they also mean a lot to me as the person receiving the impressions. It’s those intense readings that stay with me and I keep thinking about them later. While readings can often be just an answer to a question they can also be very emotional and touch the person and me on a deep level. I hate to make people cry but there have been readings that not only make the person I’m reading for cry but make me cry as well. Those are the best. When this happens it totally outweighs any negative things people may say to me or about me regarding my abilities. It’s why I keep doing them and why I feel they’re important.

Thank you for interviewing me. I hope what I’ve said has been helpful. I’ve really enjoyed our communication as we worked on this and it was a pleasure meeting you, Deb.

Feel free to check out Melissa's many sites and please note she's doing a radio show through May where you can call in and get a free one question reading at the end of her show:

Her psychic reading website - http://apsychichaven.com
Her author website - http://melissaa.com
Her online show The Reader’s Round Table - http://blogtalkradio.com/MelissaAlvarez
Her page on Cerridwen Press’s website - http://www.cerridwenpress.com/AuthorsBooks.asp?AuthorCode=ADup
Her myspace page – http://myspace.com/arianadupre