You might remember John Edward’s groundbreaking television series Crossing Over. The confident but ever-so-serious New Yorker talked a mile a minute, pacing the floor, sharing seemingly random information and memories with an audience eager to identify.
It is strange to hear that famous voice, speaking at that same hectic pace, on the telephone. This is a man who has done “readings” for Oprah Winfrey and the Kardashians, at their homes. At their request. Believe in the afterlife or not, Edward is an intriguing and engaging individual. Your final opinion is, as always, your own.
Edward is regarded as the world’s foremost psychic medium and is the author of numerous critically acclaimed New York Times best sellers. In 2000, he pioneered the psychic phenomena genre with his television series Crossing Over with John Edward. It was the first television show syndicated worldwide devoted to psychic mediumship and ran for four seasons. Follow-up John Edward Country ran from 2006 for three seasons.
In 2007 Edward launched a digital network known as Evolve. Members have exclusive access to Edward’s weekly web series, Evolve with John Edward, which features readings, celebrity interviews and metaphysical and lifestyle content.
He has toured the world and appeared on to many television shows to mention. Most recently he visited the South African jungle for I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, where he shocked Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell with a message from his late employer and confidant.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Edward is said to have exhibited psychic abilities from an early age. Psychic Lydia Clar allegedly told him his life’s work would be teaching people about it. Edward took it on board.
As a medium he has been able to bring comfort and hope to people who have lost loved ones. He is widely respected for bringing a thought-provoking attitude to the world of psychic phenomena, and for his uncanny ability to predict future events and communicate with those who have “crossed over”.
Edward is in Melbourne when Weekender calls. It’s a long way from the Long Island home he shares with his wife Sandra, their children Justin and Olivia, and their three dogs. Edward, though, feels right at home. There is something about Australia, he says, that he connects with on a spiritual level.
“I really enjoy my time in Australia – it’s just cool to be here,” he says. “I don’t have to plan activities or anything like that. I’m an energy guy and the energy here works for me. I feel very plugged in here, very connected, so it makes me not feel transient. Can I explain that? No. I’ve talked to an astrologist about it and he said we feel a better vibration and connection with some places more than others on the planet. All I know is if somebody told me I had to move tomorrow I’d choose Australia without blinking an eye.”
Edward is intelligent, articulate and a straight-shooter. He barely pauses when asked a question is matter-of-fact about his “job”. I ask him how he deals with critics and he shares a story about a so-called medium who “channelled” a child by putting on a little girl’s voice and engaging in various other theatrics.
“If I was in that room, as a patron, I probably would have been arrested because there is no way I would be able to sit there and watch that level of theatrical bullshit. It’s just not appropriate, especially when you’re dealing with people who are grieving,” he says.
“I’ve got a direct, no-nonsense New Yorker style. I don’t do theatrics and for me it’s not a show, it’s not a performance. It’s a classroom. I believe that everybody has intuition and everybody is psychic and can evolve that. Energy can be navigated and understood.”
So, what exactly is energy? “It’s everything. Everything that we are is energy,” Edward replies.
“I take a scientific approach and talk about frequency and vibrations and wavelengths cellphones. I talk about how people can listen to their music on a headset that has no wires. It’s an energy and frequency where people are being transferred from one place to another.
“When people ask ‘But where’s the other side?’ I reply ‘Well, where is the internet? Show me the physical place where the internet exists’. There is no physical place where the internet exists. The internet is a dimension, an energetic dimension, and we all connect to it. And I feel that’s what the other side is. It is like a spiritual internet. It’s where communication can take place.”
I use the example of the internet “cloud” which I admit I struggle to comprehend.
“In that case, you’d go to, say, an Apple store and ask them how the cloud works. Somebody there is going to be your medium and that medium will show you how this is possible. And then they’re going to give you a device, and then you’re going to do it on your own. That’s my goal. I want people to recognise that they can connect with this energy outside of a medium.
“When I’m doing my events I say ‘Now listen, I’ve just shown you the validity to this. Now it’s up to you what you do with it’. Oh and by the way, you still need to grieve because that’s an important part of connecting with love. It’s honouring your own sense of loss and the feelings that come with it are part of the energy as well.”
The weight of expectation on him from people who are grieving could, one would think, be all-consuming. Edward doesn’t allow it.
“It’s going to sound crazy but when I was about 13 to 15 I worked at a deli. I knew what my job was – there were salads or sandwiches or whatever behind the counter and people came in with an expectation. Get in, get what they want and get out.
“It was my job to manage the expectation of the person in a timely fashion.
“Nowadays, I can’t directly give people what they want but I can get them what they need, which is information. I manage the expectations by understanding that I am doing my job and providing a service and that I am doing it in ways that are available to people for free.
“I run a Facebook page and a show which they can watch if they want to. I try to provide content in various different ways, be it books or doing interviews like this, or doing a tour.
“I feel like I manage the expectations by providing avenues and opportunities for people who want to explore it through the world of me. I don’t just take private readings and say oh well to the rest. I feel like I can get to people if people want to get to me.”
One question is often asked of Edward – how do you connect with a loved one who has passed? Here is his answer.
“You have to be half of the conversation. Most people are waiting for something to come to them and with that pregnant pause of waiting is an expectation of how it’s going to happen – usually with some Hollywood interpretation. There is no lightning bolt from the sky, no burning bush.
“Relationships require communication on both parts. You need to do your part, and be half of the intention of the conversation, which means you have to show up. And your version of showing up may mean meditation or prayer or whatever is in your frame of belief, but you need to understand the language of how they can communicate and the potentiality of of communication so that when they do it, you understand it.
“Don’t wait for it to happen, become part of the equation. And that does not mean go to a medium. I actually don’t think you should go to a medium. Always remain skeptical but be open to potential.”