The Psychic Life: An interview with Psychics In The Cities

A Preview of the 2017 Psychic & Healing Symposium

What is it like to be a professional psychic? How would your everyday life be different? The three women who work collectively as Psychics in the Cities — (above, from left) Connie Braton, Judie Randall and Debra Battenfeld — will address those questions and others on Saturday, Feb. 25, during their keynote talk at the 2017 Psychic & Healing Symposium at Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center.

From 3-4:30 p.m., they will present, “The Truth About Psychics,” an event for anyone who has ever wondered what the life of a psychic is really like, and how the psychic world can enrich your life. What does being “psychic” really mean? What misconceptions does the public have about psychics? What can you expect from a psychic reading? What tools are used in psychic work, such as pendulums and cards? Psychics in the Cities will present random intuitive readings during the keynote, and one audience member will win a 30-minute reading with them.

Advance tickets are $22 online at, and $27 at the door.

The Minneapolis-based collective, which uses the “Power of 3” to deliver unique and powerful messages from Sources of Light, offers a six-week class on psychic ability in the spring and the fall. Throughout the year, they present unique workshops on topics of interest to the public, and they present monthly psychic galleries where individuals can come and ask one question. They also do individual phone readings, private readings, e-mail readings, and parties.

Psychics in the Cities recently spoke with The Edge about their personal psychic experiences and their upcoming talk at Psychic & Healing Symposium.

When and how did you first realize you had psychic abilities?
Judie Randall: I don’t know if you want to say it was psychic ability, but it was definitely being aware of past lives. I was probably 14 or 15. I read a lot and I knew I had lived in France during the French Revolution. That was my first kind of inkling into that. I also spent a lot of time with animals. I grew up on a farm and I talked with them a lot.
Connie Braton: I first remember having intuitive flashes, I guess, as a young child, maybe 9 or 10, but I was always the weird kid. I was always the kid who brought home the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not comic books instead of Archie or Superman. For me, I just call it a sudden awareness that there was more out there.
Debra Battenfeld: I didn’t realize my life was different or that I was psychic until my 40s, because my life was normal. I knew psychic things, but I didn’t know that was what it was. I didn’t have a title or a definition for myself.

What was the moment that you realized it was psychic ability?
Debra: When I read Echo Bodine’s book, Echoes of the Soul. My mother was very open without even knowing it herself. We had a Ouija board, and a Magic 8 Ball, when we were young, and it was just fun. We played with them and so these things were very natural for me.

Did the other two of you have open families?
Judie: Oh, no. To this day, half the family goes, “Oh, yeah, okay, that’s just Judie.” And the other half goes, “Stay away from her.” They kind of look at me like, “Ewwww, okay. Whatever floats your boat.”
Connie: For me, people started sort of coming out of the woodwork after I came out of the broom closet. Since then I have had a lot of cousins tell me stories about my mother’s sister, so I am coming to realize that this was a family gift and not just mine, but no one in my family had ever taken it to this particular level by practicing it publicly.

What led each of you to choose to become a professional psychic?
Judie: It was 25 years ago or so, and I was with some friends and I said to them, “I’m going to be a shaman.” I didn’t even know what a shaman was at that point. I just said that. I knew that there was something more out there, but I didn’t know where to turn. I started in the healing arena and then I went on to study shamanism. My last stop was Echo Bodine’s beginning psychic class. That’s where I met Deb, and within six months we had developed our company. It happened by being open to the universe to bring it to me.
Connie: I am in kind of a unique position among the three of us, because I was actually Judie and Debra’s student. I started taking classes here and there, and I ended up in their psychic development class and graduated from that. I went on to study advanced psychic development with them and put quite a few years into that, just honing my skills. One day, Debra and Judie asked me to join the group and I have never looked back.
Judie: And we’re very glad she did.
Debra: Yes, we are.
Connie: Thank you. That makes three of us!
Debra: My interest in mediumship is what brought me to the psychic world. I finally had a name for why I was seeing spirits. I became interested in reading every book I could find on mediumship, so I could understand what that was all about. So, mediumship actually led me to being a psychic.

So the three of you have different intuitive abilities?
Judie: I am more in the psychic world, looking at past lives and soul work and working with animals, shamanism, and healing. I can do mediumship, but it is not my favorite endeavor. Spirits of the departed come to me sometimes even when I’m not asking, but I am more about the here and now.
Connie: I am somewhere in between. I started out really liking the psychic reading stuff, finding out what’s happening in someone’s family or career, but I’ve gradually come to enjoy the mediumship probably even more. What a gift it is to be able to connect someone with their loved one on the other side. I can’t think of anything more fulfilling I could be doing with my life.
Debra: Mediumship is a passion of mine. When I first knew that it was a strong gift in me, I could think of nothing better than being able to help someone in grief, someone who did not think they could live anymore because a loved one was dying, someone who needed that connection, especially with children who had passed over.

What do you do personally to tune into a client and receive information about them?
Judie: I just did a phone reading today, and a couple of hours before the reading I just went inward to check in and see what the reading was going to be about, what she needed help with. It was actually supposed to be a soul retrieval, but the weather was so crappy that we just decided to do a phone reading instead. So I tapped into my healing abilities, trying to figure out how I could help her, before I even started talking with her. Usually once a reading gets going, it just takes a life of its own. There’s a lot of give and take between the client and the psychic — and I just let everything flow. I try not to control it. That’s being in my head, and I try not to do that.
Connie: I usually begin by opening up to my own spirit guides. I find that they can help me bridge the gap between where I am right now and the state I need to move into to receive psychic or mediumship information. My spirit guides often connect me with client and their spirit guides. It’s almost as if there is a whole roundtable of spirits involved in a reading. I think that’s really cool, because you get a lot of different perspectives that way — and it is just a good feeling to have input from different beings.
Debra: I think about the client in the morning, if a private reading is scheduled for later, and I usually get information when I’m doing other things, like preparing my hair or putting on makeup. I really connect at those times probably because that’s when I’m not thinking about anything, when I’m busy.

When we have an expo or a gallery, where we aren’t aware of who is going to be there or who we’re going to be reading, I immediately open my third eye and my gifts. I don’t do a lot of preparing. I just can snap my fingers or close my eyes and…boom… I’m there.
Judie: When the three of us are working together, we always do a little opening ritual before we start the day, be it a gallery, be it an class, be it an expo. This opening ritual helps to prepare us by asking the guides and spirits to come in and be with us. It help us with the work we’re doing.

Do you have a feeling within that tells you that you’re connected with the energies of a particular client? Do you have a sense within you that, yes, this is where I need to be to do this reading?
Debra: Yes. I definitely feel connected to the person I am reading, even when I do phone readings. It’s not always a direct, face-to-face energy exchange between me and another person at an individual reading, at a gallery or at an expo. The person at the reading is asking for our service, and that gives me the permission — and the compassion — to start to feel inwardly about the person. Some can be difficult. We all know that, right, girls? They can come to us scared or even as a skeptic. You just have to rise above that — and you still feel some connection to that client. So, yes, there is something that you feel, and it opens you up to help them. To love what you’re doing is definitely a key.
Connie: For me, I feel there is a difference between doing a psychic reading and a mediumship reading, in terms of the cues that tell me that I’m connected. Sometimes when you have a spirit who is quite strong, I will physically feel that that spirit is around me in the room, so there are a lot of physical cues. I bring that in from my background as a paranormal investigator, where I learned to trust my instincts about what is around me. Otherwise, that connection is just a feeling of calmness and peace. Often, I will just feel love coming from a soul on the other side and it makes me smile. It makes me happy, so I know that I have connected with them, and then I can begin relaying information for the client.
Judie: Sometimes when I’m doing phone readings, I will pick up on an animal that is with the person that I am reading and share a message for that animal. I have two cats who will come and just sit on my lap until I share something about that animal with the client — and then my cats leave. Today, there was no animal involved and my cats were nowhere near me during the reading. I have one of them sitting with me right now with this interview.

Now that you are a professional psychic, are there things that you do to refine your skills?
Connie: We preach and we teach this mantra — practice, practice, practice — and that is exactly what it takes. You have heard this expression before I’m sure, but there is a psychic muscle that you have to exercise to keep it really toned and in shape. That’s what we do. We try to practice as much as we can.
Judie: Personally, I continue to take classes. I’m curious about other people and what their opinions and ideas are. I’m always looking for new ways to teach the information, and I get that by taking classes from other teachers. I’m always looking to broaden whatever knowledge there is out there that I want to learn — and I want to bring that back and bring it forth.
Debra: I have a circle at LHSC (Lake Harriet Spiritual Community) twice a month where others come and we practice, so that helps me. But also, throughout almost every day of my life I get practice just by listening to someone, talking to someone, just using my abilities while I’m driving, I do a lot of driving. I tune in to Spirit to help me avoid an accident, or to avoid a deer. I was warned about that one time, and three deer came running out into the highway and I was prepared in advance for that. I am in tune most of my life, actually, and I know that at night when I’m sleeping I am learning then, too.
Judie: I completely agree. Once we step out into that threshold, it’s kind of hard to go back. I use it all the time, every day. I’m constantly talking with my guides and angels. “Okay, I need a little help here. What’s going on with this?”
Connie: Last week I was in Washington, D.C. There was an awful lot of energy swirling around that town. As I visited different sites, I began to realize how the energy shifted from one place to another. The monuments were kind of dead, energy-wise. The Senate office buildings, to be honest, had a frantic energy, and I didn’t feel like it was very good energy there. The House of Representatives was completely different. It was exciting energy. It was powerful energy. So, everywhere I went there was a different sense that I would get. So, I began to make a game of it, really. What am I going to feel here?

In your experience as a professional psychic, what motivates someone to visit an intuitive like you?
Judie: People are just hungry for some help. They’re looking for hope. They’re looking for direction. Sometimes they know the answers themselves and they just need validation. There’s a lot of hunger out there, because they know there is something that exists beyond the physical.
Connie: I remember the very first psychic reading I had, and it completely changed my world. The woman gave me such validation that I couldn’t any longer wonder, “Is there something else?” I knew that there was something else. That was an exciting moment. It also was unsettling. I had just gone to the psychic for curiosity’s sake — and boy, did I get a life change out of that!

You got more than you were looking for!
Connie: Definitely more than I was looking for, and that set me off on a path leading to where I am now.
Debra: I agree with Connie and Judie. There is also the element of fun. We get clients who just want a girls’ weekend! Let’s have fun! And they end up walking away amazed with very meaningful information and messages — and I think that ends up opening up their minds to what we are all about. We make it fun most of the time, but being a psychic and medium is a very serious role to play. We do take our jobs very seriously, full of love and compassion for others. The people who come to us walk away feeling that and enjoy that, and then they share their experience with their friends and…boom…we have quite a few other people coming to us for help.
Judie: I completely agree.
Connie: We talk about this amongst the three of us sometimes, about how when we do a mediumship reading that we like to give validation that a departed loved one is still around. Obviously, the client deserves that. It helps them trust us, and it helps open them up to other messages from Spirit.

Oftentimes we find that the only message the client really needs is that their loved one did not die. Sometimes it’s just as simple as that — and your world changes when you understand that the soul does go on. So, sometimes there are very elaborate and detailed messages. Sometimes the message is simply, “Hey, I’m still here.” And, how cool is that?!

What is your overarching goal when working with a client?
Debra: The goal is to help them, to settle their minds, to take away their fears, to bring hope and light into their life when we are with them. Sometimes we only spend 15 minutes with a person. That is enough time to change a negative into a positive. It’s important to have them walk away less negative, less fearful, and not as sad. We want to change their perspective. We ask for positive information when we are with them. We don’t want to focus on the gloom of their life. We want to bring them something that helps them.
Judie: I think Deb said it very well. For me, it’s to bring them hope. It’s to bring them peace and help them let go of the fear. It’s to open them up to the awareness that they’re not alone. We all have so much help in the spiritual world.
Connie: I agree. Hope and peace. We would never want someone ever to leave our readings feeling scared or troubled in any way. Obviously, we can’t take away all of the sorrow, all of the sadness, that they’re feeling, but we always want to leave them with something to hang onto that lightens their load just a little bit.

From your observation of people, what holds most people back from living the life they would like to live?
Connie: Fear. There is love and there’s fear and that’s really all there is in this world. A lot of people go through their lives scared of what is going to come tomorrow. Fear is a big motivator for a lot of people in their lives.
Judie: I completely agree with Connie. From the perspective of Source, I see that there are different levels of souls. Some are more open to change than others. Some are ready to have information, ready to be helped. Other souls just aren’t there yet — and that’s their journey this time. I try not to judge that, because we all have such a different journey every time around.
Debra: Every single individual is different regarding what might block them from having the happiness that they want. Not everyone who comes to us is all gloom and doom. But like Connie said, it’s love or fear, and fear keeps us from moving forward sometimes, even in the littlest ways.
Connie: Just because the three of us are practicing psychic mediums and teachers, that doesn’t mean we aren’t susceptible to fear, just like every other human being on this planet. We have moments of fear and doubt, a lot of them, and that’s normal. It’s all part of the journey of working through each lifetime, learning how to overcome and see through that fear.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting their first psychic reading?
Judie: Just remain open to whatever information is being given to you. As a psychic, I go and get psychic readings myself. A lot of times I’ll sit there and say, “Really? Really?” So, just be open to it. Sometimes what you’re told doesn’t make sense until two weeks later or two months later. Not everything always makes sense right in the moment. So, just really be open.
Debra: Keep in mind that each individual has free will, and each person can change an event, a timing, a happening, by just turning a different direction, by making a last-minute decision. Don’t live what our reading says. If you’re looking for a relationship and I’m seeing blonde hair, don’t pass up somebody with dark hair if they are a wonderful person. Just because I saw blonde hair, don’t just look for that blonde hair. I could be wrong. The person you met could have had blonde hair when they were 3, Just follow your own intuition. We all have it. Know that what we do see might be for your higher good, but you have free will to change your path at any time in your life — and your choices might make that blonde guy not appear.
Connie: Understand that even though we’re psychics and we can get information about other people’s lives — even their souls — we aren’t going to see things that they really, really, really want to keep hidden. Their spirit guides will protect them from shame or embarrassment. I also want people to understand that we would never ever judge someone. Even if we did get some information that could be embarrassing or revealing for someone, it is not our role to judge. Don’t be afraid of judgment. You can be as open as you want with us. That’s the whole purpose of it.

What’s the greatest misperception about psychics today?
Judie: In my experience, it’s that we read minds. I have had people say to me in the business world, “Oh, don’t come near me. I don’t want you to know what I’m thinking.” And I just kind of look at them like, “I don’t want to know what you’re thinking.” We’re not mind readers.
Connie: A big one we always get is, “Can you give me lottery numbers?” Well, no. I could, believe me, but I wouldn’t probably pass them on to you. Another common misperception is that we’re all witches or we’re all practicing black magic. Hopefully, that is changing as more and more of us are out there doing this work. But, no, we’re not all witches. Witches are fine people and I know a lot of them. But, we don’t all practice Wicca, so they don’t need to put us in that box.
Debra: One of the misperceptions is that I can give someone tons of information at the drop of a hat. Seriously, I don’t work all the time. We’re not available 24/7 to anyone who wants to know if there is a ghost of someone standing next to them. We don’t just tell everyone we meet about their future. Perhaps people think we want to do that all the time, but often it’s not the time and place for it.
Connie: There’s some etiquette here, too, in terms of intruding upon someone’s private spiritual space. You wouldn’t walk into someone’s house and just start pointing out the obvious to them. Well, there’s a couch over here, and it’s gray. You can’t assume that someone wants information. I would never go up to someone uninvited and say, “Would you like to speak with your dead grandmother?” or “I see that you have a job promotion coming up.” It’s just not the polite thing to do.
Debra: I am often asked if we believe in God. That’s a very personal question, but so many people are so blunt with that. Yes, I have a Higher Power.
Judie: Yes.
Connie: My own mother, when I finally told her what I am doing, asked me, “Well, does this mean you don’t believe in God anymore?” That really took me aback, but I looked at it as an opportunity to help her understand what I am doing with my gifts. I don’t know that she ever really came around to my side, but I was able to explain to her that I believe in a Higher Power more than ever doing this work. How could you not?
Debra: The Higher Power can be explained in many different ways. When we are in a class or a gallery or at an expo, and we’re doing a reading, we are very careful to say, “Whatever your Higher Power is,” because we respect people’s beliefs.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from Spirit?
Connie: It was to go to the Psychics in the Cities psychic development classes so I could meet Deb and Judie — that’s the honest truth. I needed to be on this path, and that was the way Spirit found for me.
Judie: And we paid her to say this!
Connie: Spirit put that little bug in my ear and I ended up right smack dab in the front of the class with my little ears all perked up — and the rest is history.
Judie: Spirit just said to be true to me. Be true to who I really am, not what other people think and want me to be.
Debra: I was visiting with my aunt about a year after she passed away, and I was very excited to see her. At that time I tended to believe what I read or, “Oh, that makes sense to me, so that’s the way it is.” So I wanted to ask about crossing over, because before she crossed over I had walked her through what her experience would be like. I was excited to ask her, “Was it like that?” She put her hands up in the air and said, “Deb, it’s different for everyone.”

That really woke me up. It made me realize that my belief was only mine — and we stress that in our classes. We tell our students, “Make sure everything you walk away with makes sense to you. Don’t change your belief because of us. Just let it make sense to you. Let it be your belief. Believe in what you believe in. It can change.” Ours has. Mine has. My belief system has changed through the years because we evolve and we grow.

What will those who attend your keynote at the Psychic and Healing Symposium experience?
Judie: Lots of laughter. We take ourselves and what we do very seriously, but we find that if people can be relaxed and enjoying it, it sinks in more. So, the energy and the mood in there will be light and enjoyable.
Connie: It could be that this will be the first time that some of the people there will be exposed to psychics, so like Judie said, we want them to understand that we are light, happy, hopeful people. Hopefully they will be entertained, but they will be enlightened at the same time.
Debra: The title of our talk is “The Truth About Psychics.” I feel like they will come in with questions in their minds about psychics — and they will walk away with the truth, with our truth that we’re sharing with them.
Connie: Hopefully they will be motivated to go out and find their own truth to work on their own skills or whatever path that they’re supposed to take, in terms of the bigger picture. Hopefully they will walk out thinking, “I’m curious now. I want to learn more.” The best reaction we can get from any kind of class or workshop or keynote talk is just to inspire some curiosity in people so they want to learn more about the nature of who they really are, which is Spirit.
Judie: That they will be at the beginning of their spiritual journey for their life, what their soul wants. We start listening to it.

What final message would you like to leave with our readers about psychics?
Judie: We’re human, too.
Connie: Don’t be afraid. You’ll like us. Give us a try.
Debra: That a psychic should be working to help each individual find happiness, their truth, their light.
Connie: I would just like to say thanks for the opportunity to be keynote speakers. We are excited about it. Edge Life events are always absolutely top notch. We just can’t say enough good things about them, and they always bring so many people out. There is so much to offer, in terms of vendors and readers and workshops. It’s really a privilege for us to be involved at this level.
Judie: Ditto! What Connie said.
Debra: I agree!

Learn more about Psychics in the Cities at


  1. How amazing the interview is! Psychics are humans, too! They can make mistakes. So, not all of their predictions come true. I think that you should follow your instinct to have the right decision!


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