Atmosphere

Good Fortune

Thirty minutes with a psychic: Would I become a believer?

March 2010

I have never believed in ghosts, Ouija boards, or gimmicky fortune tellers. I'm also a journalist by trade, and I'm paid to be skeptical. So, when local medium Rebecca Rosen's new book—Spirited: Connect to the Guides All Around You (HarperCollins Publishers, February)—landed on my desk and I learned that her celebrity-dotted waiting list was three years long, I had to see what the hype was about.

Rosen's pleasant Cherry Creek suite isn't cloudy with incense or strewn with psychedelic tapestries and crystal balls. In fact, the 33-year-old is a down-to-earth, married mom with two kids. She just happens to talk to dead people—and charge $500 an hour for it. She does up to six readings a day for clients who range from prominent Denverites to Hollywood A-listers like Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox Arquette. People typically visit her to contact deceased loved ones because unresolved matters are preventing them from moving on with their lives.

I sat for my own reading and tried to unlock my mind. "It's not my job to change the way you think," Rosen says. "It's not about me, and it's not about predictions. My focus is the present and the past." When she identified several spirits, mostly relatives, in the room with us, I couldn't help but get the chills. Each time she articulated an obscure reference—the kind Google won't turn up—the more I felt my skepticism fading. What if I did have spirit guides? Could I communicate with them on my own? (After all, $500 is a hefty sum to hear Grandma's opinions.)

Rosen takes her book's readers through the same process, helping them overcome doubt, move beyond the weird-factor, and tune into their intuition to connect with external spirits. "The point of the book is to help people get unstuck," she says. "To dig into the past to figure out what the problem is, own it, and release it."

I left Rosen's suite with a copy of my reading recorded onto a CD and a vaguely unsettled feeling. I wanted to believe in her gift: that she was actually communicating with my deceased grandmother. But what I did believe was that Rosen has the ability—through psychic powers or simply by talking it out—to help people reach closure and regain their lives. And that is a gift in itself.