Kathryn Harwig, J.D. presents "The World of Spirit" from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Edge Life Expo. Advance tickets are $28 thru 11/2, and $30 at the door. Visit uptowntix or call (612) 604-4466. Complete expo details are at www.edgelifeexpo.com
Kathryn Harwig, J.D., is an attorney, an author and a radio personality. She also is an internationally known psychic and teacher based in the Twin Cities who assists others in recognizing and developing their own intuitive abilities. She has worked extensively with law enforcement agencies, not only helping them find clues to solve crimes, but showing them how to trust in their own intuitive processes.
Kathryn also is a medium who has an amazing gift of connecting and speaking with those who have passed on.
She shares this gift with listeners each month on WCCO radio 830 AM, and she will spend 90 minutes with those who attend her talk at Edge Life Expo 2005 discussing the world of Spirit and giving people a chance to talk to their loved ones in that realm.
She offered a more in-depth perspective of this gift of hers in an interview with Edge Life.
One of the many aspects of who you are is a medium who connects the living with messages from those who have passed from their bodies. Is this something you chose to do or did it just happen spontaneously? What was your first experience with this?
Kathryn Harwig: Interestingly, I’d been doing intuitive work for virtually all my life – and this was part of my intuitive work for many, many years. Most of the time I was doing it, it never really occurred to me that that was mediumship. As I was talking to someone or consulting with them, I would get messages from people who had passed and I’d either tell them, "Oh this is happening," or sometimes I wouldn’t even tell them. I’d just say, "This is what I’m getting," without saying who it was coming from
Probably five or six years ago, people started saying, "Well, you’re a medium."
And I thought, "Well, I don’t even like that term. It sounds too spiritualistic." It wasn’t until I started doing the radio show on WCCO – I never realized how many people resonated with and desired to talk to and hear from and really to have some sort of proof, if there is such a thing, of life after death – that I was willing to accept that label.
At present there seems to be a great public interest in connecting with those who have passed over. To what do you attribute this?
Harwig: It certainly has been present in a tremendous number of television shows, movies and in the media. That, however, reflects the public’s interest, instead of the opposite. I don’t think the media necessarily creates that interest. My belief, and what people tell me, is that there has always been interest in mediumship. I think the media publicity makes it acceptable to say it out loud.
I think people have always had a strong desire to connect with loved one’s after they have passed over to the other side. And almost everyone I talk to has had some instance where they have had spirit communication. They’ve felt their deceased mother or they’ve had other sorts of incidents. Now, they feel like they have permission to speak about it out loud. I think it’s more acceptable to do that now.
Given that there’s even a TV show called "Medium," maybe people can talk about such things without being "out there" too much.
Harwig: Exactly. And I feel that because I have some relatively decent educational and work credentials, now it gives me permission to use that term, as well. When I use it, then that allows other people to say, "Oh, well."
When I saw the show, "Medium," on television for the first time, I thought, "Oh, they stole my life!" because so much of it was quite similar to what my life is about, with the medium on the show having been a law student. There’s a credibility factor that hasn’t been there before.
In fact, you have worked with police departments like Allison DuBois did.
Harwig: Yes. I have actually worked quite a bit with police departments. I get contacted virtually weekly by somebody who’s looking for a missing person or something. I’m working on a couple cases right now. I also get contacted all the time by A&E and Court TV, asking me to be on. That’s not a huge interest of mine, but I have been working with police departments for 10 or 15 years.
Have you had good success? What really limits success in those type of cases?
Harwig: My emphasis is a little different than what television wants to show. My emphasis is that the police need to learn how to use their own intuition and their own abilities so they can get going on cases right away.
And you’ve helped train them in that way?
Harwig: Exactly. I’m working right now on a missing person’s case, probably a murder. The problem is, the person went missing in October 2003, so by this time, all the physical evidence is gone. Everything is gone. What limits success in these cases mostly is the time factor.
Generally it’s the families who push to have a medium or a psychic working with them, and the police departments are so afraid of looking foolish or looking gullible. They expect 10 times more proof from me than they would from a forensic expert who provides some other type of evidence. And, unfortunately, that just doesn’t always exist. What’s hard to do is to find the physical evidence that law enforcement needs to prosecute the crime. It’s just deteriorated.
For example, in the case I am working on, it was a boat that had capsized. If I tell them that this body is there, it’s very unlikely that they’re going to find it after two years.
If they do find the body, there’s absolutely no way with so much time having passed that they can link the cause of the death to anybody. They would need to find some evidence of blame in the case.
Harwig: Certainly. I was a probation officer and an attorney for many years, and the farther you get out on the chain of evidence, the less likely it is that you’re ever going to get any sort of conviction or suspect. In an ideal world – and I don’t know that I want to do this at all – they’d have people trained on staff, like what they have on the "Medium" show, to be available immediately as opposed to waiting two years before looking into the case.
There was a recent movie, Minority Report. Did you see that?
Harwig: No, I didn’t. I know it was a short story written some time ago ("Minority Report," by Philip K. Dick, 1956).
In this story, the law enforcement agency arrested people before they did the crimes, because the intent was there. They had a group of intuitives who assisted them in identifying these people. Do you think there will ever be a time when intuitives will play a greater role, a more public role, in law enforcement?
Harwig: Yes, I do, or perhaps that’s my hope. I believe it’s already coming into play in a number of less-public areas. I have a person in Homeland Security who contacts me weekly, but he wouldn’t let me give you his name.
The more that happens, the more likely it is that the public will come to see it as an acceptable alternative. Intuitive crime solving certainly shouldn’t be used exclusively. And, of course, constitutionally, you can’t arrest people before they do something. I’m really not for that, even though it would be handy.
When people die, what happens?
Harwig: They go to pretty much where they expect to go, according to their beliefs.
That is similar to what is shared in the film What Dreams May Come.
Harwig: You know, it really is. Actually, when I saw that movie I was somewhat bothered by it because their depiction of hell was so horrendous. I don’t believe most people truly expect or want that.
But, I do think they were correct in the sense that people who feel that they deserve to be punished in some fashion may paint themselves into somewhat of a bleak existence for a while. I also don’t think they stay there. Most of us aren’t that cruel to ourselves, luckily.
In general, though, if you’re a Christian then you tend to go someplace that feels very Christ-like. If you’re a Buddhist, you’re not going to feel very comfortable in a Christian heaven, and so you’re going to go someplace where the language is familiar, the setting is familiar, and see the people that you recall. Your loved ones will be there, because that’s what you want and that’s what you expect, and the Divine God is good. He or She gives us a comfortable, familiar, welcoming, lovely place to go.
I believe it’s extremely rare for people to end up in anything similar to a hell-like existence. The closest thing to hell, in my belief system, is the life review, for some people.
Having to re-experience everything that happened in your life?
Harwig: Not only re-experience it, but re-experience everything that they ever did through the eyes of the person they did it to. So, you can only imagine how long it would take somebody like Hitler to go through a life review. That had to be quite hellish.
Hopefully that experience would affect the soul in a positive way.
Harwig: I suppose it wouldn’t have to, but it seems like seeing the impact of your actions over and over again would certainly have a huge effect on you.
Every being and every life form that I’ve run into contact with has one thing in common, and that’s a desire to grow. The spirits tell me that we come here to Earth, because it’s a very good place to learn and to grow. And, when we’re done, we go back to spirit and sit down and try to figure out what we learned and what we still want to learn.
This desire to grow and to change and to be more than you already are is universal. And universal is even too small of a term on a cosmic scale.
How does one’s belief in God while you’re in the body affect the experience afterward?
Harwig: Prior to death, or at the time of death, if there’s a strong sense in the Divine, that will comfort the soul. But many atheists have come to me from the other side during readings and said, "You know, I didn’t believe in God and, by golly, it didn’t matter. I went to the same place and I found out that there is a Divine, a God force."
Ultimately it helps us in our day-to-day life if that’s what we choose.
Harwig: I believe it certainly helps in the way that we function on a day-to-day basis. I also believe it helps in the comfort of our passing.
If you believe that nothing happens when you die, and then you die and you find out that’s wrong, that can be quite terrifying for a soul to realize after a lifetime of believing that they’re just going to quit existing. They will have to remake and figure out where they are and who they are. That could be somewhat disorienting, and something that people who have a strong belief in God do not have to experience.
On a cellular level, every body and every soul knows that there is a God. It’s similar to my knowing there’s air. I can choose to not believe in it, but that doesn’t make it go away.
What is your personal relationship with death?
Harwig: I’ve experienced a lot of deaths in my family. My parents and my older sister all dropped dead suddenly of heart attacks. And just a few months ago, my nephew committed suicide. I also have had my own near-death experience from a very traumatic illness, so I’ve had a lot of personal experiences which I believe have brought me to the knowledge that death is a transition – and I feel quite peaceful with the idea of death.
Now, I don’t feel peaceful with dying. (Laughing) I don’t want to go through that process, even though I know I will unless something changes very dramatically in the way we do things. Of course, I still miss the people I’ve lost, and I wouldn’t want to be separated from people I love now, but I’m not afraid of it.
How does one move from a fear of death to a more unfearful perspective?
Harwig: One of the reasons I wrote my last book and one of the reasons I’m speaking in public is that I have been told that it’s very helpful to have some sort of proof or some sort of verification – if there is such a thing – that there is life after death. It verifies what we already know, what we desperately want to know, but we have doubts about.
How did your book The Angel in the Big, Pink Hat come to you?
Harwig: Actually, I had a dream. It’s a very small book, because it’s only about my one dream. The dream was so vivid, so amazingly vivid, but symbolic in many, many ways. I didn’t understand what it was about, so I asked my guides to tell me what this dream was about. I typed the dream in as much detail as I could, and then asked my guides to explain to me what it was about.
My belief is that in my dream I actually went to the spirit realm as I would perceive it. So the book is a mini-tour of what happens when a person dies, or at least what I would see. It’s a lot about death.
Based on your experience in relating messages from the dead to those who are living, what general message about life and how to live it would those who have passed over have for us in general – for all of us who are still in body?
Harwig: Oh, good question! The one universal thing that all spirits really talk about a lot, which is so simplistic, is that we create our own lives. As opposed to waiting around for things to happen to us, we can create the kind of life that we want and the kind of death that we want. The way that we live now, because we get what we expect, will dictate what happens when we go to spirit, as we continue on this path of continual growth.
And, of course, every spirit wants to communicate love, and every spirit wants to make sure that their loved ones know that they’re not only okay – people always say to me, "Tell me he’s okay" – but they’re far better than okay. And they want people to know that.
They also want people to know they are alive. They’re doing things. They’re having fun. They’re continuing with hobbies and work and playing and loving and socializing, so they’re not just sitting around waiting for us. Or watching us. As a matter of fact they’re not all that interested in us. (Laughing) I mean, they’ve got their own lives.
It’s a little bit like going to Europe. You’re interested in the people you left behind, but you’re not sitting there watching their day-to-day movements.
What experience or information have you received about our reconnection with soul groups, the collection of souls we belong to that are not necessarily made up of departed family members?
Harwig: Universally when the souls speak about that, they say they have not only met their grandparents, but they have also been with their soul group. I call them pods. Like whales travel in pods, people travel in pods, too.
So they reconnect with people they may have known five lifetimes ago or been married to.
One of the things they also say universally is that they ask their survivors to continue to live life vitally. If that involves a relationship or a new marriage, they encourage them to feel free to do that, because love is universal. They may be reuniting with seven spouses up there. Many times people don’t want to hear that.
What do you plan to share with us at Edge Life Expo?
Harwig: I will first give a little information about what it’s like to die that I was given by my guides through the process of writing my last book. What happens to the spirit? Where do they go? What do they do? How do they feel? What about suicide? What about abortion?
The majority of the time, or at least half of the time, I will be taking questions from the audience. We will have microphones set up so that people can come up and ask about a particular soul if they’re interested in getting a message, or just inquire if there’s anyone on the other side who has any messages to share with them. It will be very similar to what I do on the radio.
You can actually pick up on a specific soul if somebody asks about them?
Harwig: Yes. If someone comes up and says, "Can you tell me how my uncle Joe is doing?" then 90 percent of the time uncle Joe will come through that vibration, that person’s desire to connect. I can’t ever guarantee it. Uncle Joe might be out fishing or something. But the majority of the time, souls are very aware that that’s going to happen.
I expect the auditorium or room to be filled with not only people, but many, many spirits who are going to come to try to talk.
For someone who can actually see the spirits, that must be quite an interesting place to be.
Harwig: Yes, it’s an amazing show. (Laughing) Luckily, they don’t come in like they do on the movies, all bloody and such. They look pretty good. Many times they’ll look younger than what they did when they died, because they tell me they can look however they choose.
It is a lot of fun and it tends to make the room very warm (laughter) because all those people are in there.
What are your future projects? What are you interested in pursuing?
Harwig: A couple of things. I’m thinking about writing sequels, a number of small books like The Angel in the Big, Pink Hat. The next one is tentatively called, "The Angel in Red Rubber Boots." They’re small lessons about spirits and what it’s like to be in spirit. For many readers of Edge Life, these are not new concepts at all, but for people who have never heard of them, they’re quite revolutionary. So these books will be written in simple parable form.
The other piece that I’m really being called to do is a lot of spiritual travel. I’m also thinking about writing about spiritual travel because it’s such an amazing thing.
And the last thing is to continue my work on the radio. Quite frankly, I am just surprised how much I love being on the radio and how people respond to it. I do it once a month and I’m debating doing it more often. It certainly is possible.
I’ve been in the metaphysical, new age community, if you want to call it that, for 20 years or more. I’m enjoying exposing this information for people who aren’t as familiar with it. It’s just very thrilling to me.
Of all the places you’ve been on the planet, what is your favorite sacred place that you would love to go back to at any time?
Harwig: I think Thailand would win. First of all, I’m positive I have a past life there. I went to a monastery there and knew precisely where everything was. It was a huge place, and I could have told you where we went to the bathroom (laughter) as a monk. Even though it’s a very foreign-feeling place, it felt incredibly familiar. And the power is so huge. Turkey, also, was absolutely magnificent.
But, I’m kind of a "love the one you’re with" when it comes to travel. (Laughter) I love so many places. We’re taking a group to Peru in the spring that is marvelous and hoping to go to Bali next year. That also is just a great place.
Thanks for sharing with us. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Harwig: I urge people to come to the Expo if they want. Hopefully they will be able to communicate with their deceased loved ones – and certainly they’ll see other people doing that, depending on how many people we can get through. But, I move quite quickly so I can get to a lot of people. At least people will get a touch or a flavor of how that feels.
For more information on Kathryn Harwig, visit www.harwig.com