By all stretches of the imagination, John Peterson is not what you expect for a former Navy man who worked in submarines. Yes, he has spent his work life in electronics, technology, communications, factory automation, robotics, motor generators, conveyers and packaging, but he also is a deep thinker who reads Ken Wilber, talks to Jesus and is highly intuitive. When he worked as a technician, he could sleep on a problem and know the solution when he woke up. In his role now in sales and customer service, he’s known as “the troubleshooter,” because he sees the whole picture and tends to speak with feelings.
Many holistic types in the Twin Cities know him as Psy-Guy, the moniker he uses for the work he does on the side, as a psychic, healer, palm reader, medical intuitive, certified hypnotherapist, spiritual shaman and…XL medium. He cites Doreen Virtue, Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra as people who have inspired him on his path.
“It really boils down to: Who do you believe — and does it fit your faith?” he says. “I think the faith part is really the most important thing — defining that for yourself. Mine is really simple: I believe in angels, I believe in miracles, I believe in an everlasting soul and I believe in reincarnation. When somebody asked me, ‘What do you do with the JC (Jesus Christ) factor?’ I said, ‘I guess I’ll ask Him.’
“So I did,” he says. “I asked JC, ‘What do I do with you?’ He appeared in front of me and said, ‘I’ve been your spiritual brother all your life. No more. No less. Your spiritual brother on the same journey that you’ve chosen.’ That was full commitment to me, for myself, to believe, as a healer and a teacher…. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we all believed it was all just about the soul — and nothing else?”
John Peterson, a native of St. Paul and graduate of Chisago Lakes High School, calls himself a “soul messenger,” because he is able to listen to the soul and share wisdom to help others navigate their lives. The following conversation with The Edge reveals a man who has much to offer in these changing times.
What was your earliest intuitive experience?
John Peterson: I was telepathic with my mother. At ages 6, 7, 8, I remember that she always knew where I was. It’s that third eye thing. Moms all have that (laughing). In my later teen years, it was following her on her seeking for a spiritual path – going to different churches and different types of gatherings. She was searching for something other than religion, and I tagged along. That was my first exposure, but it was nothing definitive.
From high school, I went into the service and that’s when things opened up for me. The first time. I was in the Navy on submarines and I just had a gut feeling about things. I also had some trials in which my hands became so sensitive that I couldn’t pick up a wrench or other tools. I couldn’t squeeze anything. My hands were very energized, like all of the chakras were on all of the time. I went to the doctor, the corpsman, and I was sent to the base clinic. They looked at it, didn’t know what it was and gave me some medication. It turned out it was penicillin, and it turned out I was allergic to penicillin and broke out in hives. Even now I will experience that in my hands, when they hurt, but I look at that as, “Oh, they’re really turned on today.”
So it was a blessing, a gift. They threw a gift at me but I didn’t know what it was. I wasn’t ready for it at the time. They gave me drugs and I sweated it out for about 32 hours and woke up without it (the sensitive hands). At the time, the gift was turned off. It wasn’t the right time for it.
After the service I went back to tech school to learn electronics. Then, at my first job, it was, “Let’s play, I Know Who’s Calling!” It was before Caller ID on phones, and I was 80 to 85 percent accurate on who was calling in. It was really good, but they hated me in the office! They’d say, “Take that call,” and I’d say, “I know who it is – I’m not going to take it!”
I married and had my first child in Wisconsin and we traveled around quite a bit for different jobs that I had through the years. We eventually moved back to Minnesota. I had become dissatisfied with jobs for about three to four years, going from electronics technician into management.
What sparked your intuition for the second time?
JP: In ’94, I was in California at an expo related to the industry I was in at the time. I walked around the corner and there was a psychic from England doing aura picture readings. I was intrigued. I watched and thought, “This is really cool.” She said, “Who’s next?” and I jumped in the chair. She read me and then said, “Wow, you have a huge blue aura with a magenta corona around it.” It looked like it was glowing. It was a really cool picture. I didn’t think anything of it. I went home and said, “Hey, look at this – isn’t it cool?”
About six months later, my hip went out at work. I went to a chiropractor and it turned out she was a healer. She introduced me to meditation, crystal energy and a woman who healed herself from Lupus. She was presenting a free lecture. So I went to the lecture and was totally absorbed. This was a new calling for me. I couldn’t sit down for a week. I took classes and learned how to heal myself.
It was that time in my life when I was looking for something else. You know, you don’t like your life, you don’t like your job and you’re just a bitter person, so to speak. I came out of that as a certified ThetaHealerÂ®. That is based on the Chinese 5 Element theory: earth, fire, water, metal and wood. I learned a little about psychic surgery, visualization, past-present-future stuff. I was so interested in energy and read book after book. I think the first one I read was Barbara Brennan’s Emerging Light. I turned to Reiki and became a Reiki master. I worked on sensing energy and found when I was scanning someone’s body, I would get pictures of parts of organs. I didn’t know what I was looking at, so I took a nursing class on physiology and anatomy, and then was a medical intuitive. It’s been quite a ride! Since then, I became a certified hypnotherapist.
On your website you describe the various services you offer. How do you describe to someone who you are, and how do you determine what service to offer in a given situation?
JP: When someone asks me what I do, I say I’m a healer and a medical intuitive. I look inside the body and I’ve learned to listen very well. As far as the modality they select, or what they think they want, it is rarely what the soul wants. I listen to the soul. I’ve never had a soul lie to me – isn’t that wonderful? Never (laughing)! It’s a unique experience.
Normally when somebody asks for something, it’s based upon what they feel their own needs are, driven by something deeper, and it’s typically tied to their ego in some way. I tend to let that go. When I do a 30-minute reading for someone, or a session at my house, I do a palm reading, chakra reading — I can see the colors and feel the energy – and I look at the aura, looking for imbalances. I’ll do what I like to call a Holistic Physical, where I scan the body and look for imbalances that they’re carrying. And then I do straight-out psychic readings on what they need to know about X, Y, Z, or on who they are or what they are going for. I do ask people to bring six to eight questions, and at the end of the session we review them. Most of the time I will have covered everything they wanted to ask about.
Their answers to the questions come from the soul, which I feel is the most important part of who we are.
You call yourself a Soul Messenger. Will you elaborate on that?
JP: I have studied the soul from the beginning, since I’ve been on my own personal path. I’ve read all the books about the soul’s transition — when we cross over, what happens to our soul? What we do as people is just a memory for the soul. The soul has had many instances of being in a human form, and each one for the soul looks like a memory.
When I connect to someone in front of me, I look at the soul as my connection to that person’s truths. And I listen. The connection that we make takes me to places where the ego wouldn’t go. Things come through that only the soul knows.
When you make the connection to a soul, are you asking questions or is the soul providing you with information that it needs to share at the time?
JP: It really depends upon what I am doing at the time. If I palm read, the soul may interject and say this. Or I may get an image of something while I’m looking at someone’s palm — and that relates back to another piece of conversation that needs to take place.
What led you to consciously decide to use your intuitive gifts professionally?
JP: I walked through the Edge Expo — I think it was the first one — and I was so energized by the energy that I was doing readings in the aisles. I see the aura around people, and I’m encouraged to acknowledge that for people. “Wow, you’ve got a gorgeous aura!” And people like to hear that.
I really started out as a medical intuitive, and that led to more exploration about being a healer and psychic. The palm reads have been of great interest during the last four or five years, and I’m always amazed at the information that they carry. They’re so detailed. It’s like an open book of who we are.
And as your website states, you’ve only recently begun the path as a medium.
JP: Right. I’ve done some study with a couple of individuals, and what I’ve found is that it’s not something I need to focus on, because I’m an integrated soul as far as the gifts go. If someone asks me if I can connect with someone, I do. I went down to Mankato for a workshop on being a psychic and asked if anyone had any questions for a psychic. No one raised any hands. So I said, “Do you guys want to do some medium stuff?” and the hands shot up. That actually has a little higher interest with most people, being able to connect with those who have crossed over. There were 30 people in the room and I was able to connect with 27 of them.
Do you think it’s because people want some verification that life does continue after death?
JP: That’s a possibility. I think in some instances when people die, there’s some doubt attached to it — and that doubt could have been attached to an accident or a suicide. People are looking for clarity. Was the guy at fault — or was it an accident?
Oh, so people want to know more about the circumstances that led to a death.
Your first book — you describe it as a booklet — was Excuse Me, Have You seen your Soul. Why did you write that and what message did you want to leave with your reader?
JP: During my early years when I was trying to find my own course, one of the people who I learned to listened to was Jesus — and how His healing was really what He was here for. He was here to represent a different way of living, and that was through the lessons of the soul. The soul’s lessons are easy: listen with your heart, offer no judgment, walk in compassion and be humble. That’s really what the book is about — with my own trials and errors, as well, and my interpretations of life, what I’ve chosen to be my faith.
He said to me, “I came here to show you a different way of living. I did not say that the only way to God is through me. I said, the only way to God is to be like me.” And I thought, “What a perfect message.” There’s no man in that, and there’s no church in that. It’s purely from the soul. And where’s our soul from? From our creator. I have to believe it’s the truth.
That’s the message of the book. It’s written with some humor and includes some stories of my experiences with angels, how they appear. Two stories are in the back of the book.
Will you share them with us?
JP: I was playing with the spirits one day coming back from Iowa on a work trip, and I said, “I want to see triple license plate numbers beginning with 000 in sequence up through 999.” I’ll be darned if the first car that went past had license plates of 000. So I got goosebumps, right? We’ll talk about gooses in a minute. A couple more cars went by with 111, 222, 333 and so on. I happened to go by County Road 77 and I said, “That doesn’t count. It’s only two digits.” Bang! Next car: three sevens. And then up to 9. And I said, “Whoopee guys, you won the game!” And then the next car was 000 again, and I said, “I’m not playing again! (laughing) You got my attention, I’m a firm believer and thanks for playing!” That was really a gotcha moment.
Another was in Northern Minnesota, early morning, going down this two-lane highway, up and down, up and down on the hills. I came up over the crown of this hill and down on the left-hand side, down in a swamp where it was a little misty, were a couple of these dark, black things down the road. I thought, “I don’t know what those are, but I just know they are gonna come across in front of me when I get down there.” So I start slowing down and I get closer and see that it’s two geese. And sure enough, they walk across the road and are sitting about in the middle, and I have to come to a complete stop. And I look, and one of them looks down the road in front of me and honks, and the other one looks at me and honks. And they both took off. I look straight up and there’s a 12-point buck fifteen feet in front of my truck that I would’ve hit full bore at 60 miles per hour. So I think those geese were angels in disguise.
We see these things, we experience them. I think those are divine intervention, I really do. I literally would’ve eaten that deer.
It seems like a lot of us receive these signs, we take note of them at the time, but it’s like, it’s not enough. We need more and more proof all the time.
JP: Exactly. But it’s always encouraging. When we get those, it’s the boost that we needed. It’s just another step in our evolving. Being aware makes all these things possible. And I still look for them, double numbers on the freeway. They do it once in a while for me. But the goose experience shook a lot of people when I told the story.
Tell me about your newest book, Afterlife Reflections: Pieces of Soul.
JP: It is a relatively recent book. I’ve been working on it for the past year. With hypnosis behind me, I began experiencing some new things. One of the things we work on as therapists is fear. I was working with a woman, who’s a friend, talking with her about her greatest fear. And she said, “I have a fear of being alone.” She said she’s continually fearful about her husband leaving, or dying and leaving her alone. So we talked about that at length one time, and I said, “There’s something more about this.”
What I found out is that there’s a story behind her. So I started typing a story — we were on MS chat, 50 words at a time – back and forth, back and forth.
I said, “Do you like this?”
She said, “Wow, this is cool.”
What I was doing was listening to a story of her soul’s first existence as a human. So I kept writing and then sensed that there’s another part of this and I’m just starting to see it. It’s about this young girl who gets exposed to different aspects of intuition. She meets the wizard, the healer of the tribe, the connection she has with other people, crystal energy, chakra energy, colored stones, a lot of different things. And the planet that she’s on — it’s not here, by the way — is on its deathbed. She meets a light being with whom she escapes from there, a 12- or 14-foot eagle that she’s telepathic with. All these little gifts of being intuitive come through this, as she’s being exposed to them.
This story is about the journey of a soul’s essence, going through many lifetimes and experiencing different types of intuition…. It’s the essence of many lifetimes that she has, as a man, as a woman, as a Roman, as a Gypsy. I was listening to the soul.
For a newcomer to the whole realm of intuition, how do you define what it really means to listen?
JP: I get this question all the time. When we talk about someone being intuitive – when I look at someone’s palm and it looks like they’re intuitive, getting visions and such — I recommend that they take a psychic development class from someone who can teach them the basics in understanding the theory. Kathryn Harwig’s book, The Intuitive Advantage (2000), is one I recommend highly. It has practice sessions built inside of it, and it’s what she used when she was teaching. It’s well thought through.
Most of the time I suggest, “Well, you have to learn how to connect with your heart.” Connecting with your heart is like an open-ended book. We do it in so many ways. What I like to do for people is take them on a guided imagery journey that introduces them to an unconditional cloud of love that’s above us. When we connect with that, we bring in the compassion and joy of our universe, and we bring it down to the sacred space in our heart. Once that energy comes into the heart, then I anchor it in so they can experience it again. Once that heart energy is there, then it is allowed to expand out into the hands, down the legs and actually energizes the body and drives the chakras. It helps them open up.
What message would you share with readers who may find themselves now just trying to survive, economically?
JP: One thing I would like to say, to help people analyze or look at where they are at, is that every grief we have been given — as big as they can be or as small as they can be — every grief we are approached with has a gift attached to it. As ego-driven humans, we tend to attach to the grief. From our spiritual side, we don’t look for the gifts. From that, it is also suggested that we look at things from a positive perspective. What can I do about the situation to turn this into a positive thing? Can I go to someone and get trained? Can I go to someone and help? Can I volunteer my time? How can I get to where I want to be?
For people looking for a job, I say write down the top five things you love to do. Make that your job. We enjoy getting up and going to work when it is satisfying to us. Create the job, the business, that needs to be, that which makes you happy. That’s what Psy-Guy is about.
John, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t spoken about?
JP: The future is always bright. It might be cloudy one day, but the stars and the sun shine above the clouds. It depends upon where you are looking from. Change your perspective and look at it from a positive light. A positive intention. Intention is what it’s about.