I was inspired to attend the University of California at Santa Barbara because of a particular professor I heard about in the Speech Department. He taught a class in subversive language and had the reputation of teaching people "how to think". At U.C.S.B. I could also write my own degree program, which I did in my sophomore year. Interested in all things psychic, I titled it: “Communication Theory with an Emphasis on the Limits of Language.”
In Santa Barbara I also found the greatest influence in my life: my metaphysical teacher Eric Teissedre. He was a trance channel and psychic medium whose spirit guides taught psychic development and spiritual healing. I studied with Eric from the age of 19 and continued on after I began my own practice in 1979.
My related interest in counseling led me to create a peer counseling and ombudsman center at U.C.S.B., “The Help Center." Although I never hung out a shingle as a traditional therapist, I had six years of counseling experience, working both at my own Help Center and also six as an intern at the Santa Barbara County Mental Health Clinic, under the under the supervision of chief psychiatrist Dr. Richard Lambert. The six years Dr. Lambert mentored me gave me the confidence to do psychic counseling on my own.
I developed my own practice by being able to apply my psychic ability to the counseling process. I became a full-time practitioner in San Francisco 1979.
My first job as a psychic was on Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review in 1976.M y job: reading for whomever wanted some psychic guidance and healing on the road. Bob Dylan and his amazing friends showed me that being wildly creative could make money and work out fabulously. I was very impressed with their magic lifestyle.
My second job was arranged by another magic man, Reverend James of New Orleans. He was a voodoo practitioner and healer who worked out of an amazing “sweet shop”. It was filled with little glass bottles of different colors he had made for his potions, and many other curious and magical objects. I would watch Reverend James counsel and heal people--he was a powerful healer. When he thought I was ready to work professionally, he set me up at The Bottom of the Cup Tea Room on Royal Street in New Orleans. Every year when I went to Jazz Fest, I’d do readings tarot and palm readings there.
I went to Peru in 1999 to learn about Andean shamanism and spirituality. Juan Nunez del Prado was my teacher and the subject of “Keepers of the Ancient Knowledge” by Joan Wilcox. On that trip I came back with my most prized possession, The Speaking Stones. They are my own unique divination system. I've taken scores of workshops with different experts in shamanism and healing over the years. In June 2013 I leave for Peru again to expand my knowledge and experience.
The person who originally introduced me to counseling and made it seem fascinating was my mother. In the sixties she used to do counseling work at the Free Clinic in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury, and sometimes would take me with her to talk to 14 year old runaways from places like Kentucky and Kansas. Afterwards, I would talk to her about what happened between me and the runaways, and her insights would amaze me. She showed me the healing power of insight. When my interest in psychic phenomena developed, my mother told me she always dutifully wrote into her case studies the colors she saw around peoples heads--an aura reader without knowing what it was!
Although my parents did not introduce me to religion except to define it as a psychological crutch, I had the concept of a "magical world" at a young age. Wild animals were in it, and Nature untrammeled by hiking paths...only deer trails. Even before kindergarten, I was allowed to get up early before anyone and walk by myself. It made for thrilling mornings in Mill Valley, California, once I stepped off the pavement to head for the hills that rippled all the way to Muir Beach.
When I was 14 I got a bee in my bonnet about going to Greece, and when I got there at 17, I had a new kind of magical experience. It happened at the first ancient site I went to, the Temple of Delphi. Just as I started walking up the hill in a group of tourists, a little girl maybe 4-5 years old ran up to me and began to walk by my side. Although speaking in Greek, she communicated to me telepathically to follow her and we’d go up a path tourists didn’t usually go up. Although I didn’t think communicating that way was possible, it happened anyway, so when she veered off a moment later, I followed her. She led me all the way up and at the top she disappeared among the adults, and I went towards the entrance. I had so many unusual and intense encounters in Greece that I couldn't integrate into my life in California, I just forgot about it all when I came home and headed to college.
In college my training and Independent Major prepared me for counseling work, through 4 years at a peer counseling service I created at UCSB, “The Help Center”, and six years as a paraprofessional counselor at the Santa Barbara County Mental Health Clinic.
I spent my time counseling and acting at college until at 19 I met trance medium and psychic Eric Teissedre. In a minute he showed me the reality of knowing things directly, and how helpful it could be. I studied from the age of 19 with Eric, and other great metaphysical teachers, especially Pyramid Power author Pat Flanagan, Andean spiritual teacher Juan Nunez del Prado, and spiritual healer Reverend James of New Orleans.
I began working full time as a professional psychic at 29, but before that, I had another kind of magical experience: doing psychic work for whomever wanted it on the Rolling Thunder Review with Bob Dylan. Everyone on the tour was some kind of artist or self-made person leading a magical life doing what they loved, and they were doing well…I was liberated knowing I could stay free and make a great living!
The longest continuing magical experience I have occurs regularly working with clients, and the sacred circle experience I get to share with them. The communication of healing words and healing energy, and all the ways it takes place, is always a fresh adventure. Thousands of people sharing the real and intimate details of their lives has taught me great respect, and to understand that every person's life takes a lot of courage to live; that people can change; and one way or another we are each here learning about love.
Elissa Heyman, Psychic Counseling and Spiritual Healing, in person/by phone, Santa Fe, NM 87501, 505-982-3294. firstname.lastname@example.org