Americans have long been fascinated with psychics. Some of our most prominent citizens look to the stars, and other forms of psychic divination, to determine their futures and reflect upon their pasts.
Psychics first shared the stage with the rich and famous in America during the rise of spiritualism in America. President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, were said to have invited psychics into the White House to perform séances for them. Far from being the only president to use a psychic openly, President Franklin D. Roosevelt also attended séances.
Great scientific minds that achieved fame also brought attention to psychics, including physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a séance participant, and Alexander Graham Bell, who believed that contact with the dead by psychics was a reality and searched for real psychics.
Believers aside, skepticism existed then and it persists today - so much so that some celebrities may attempt to hide or mask their support of psychics.
In 2009, many celebrity websites began reporting that Jennifer Aniston was seeing a psychic. In 2010, Glamour magazine insisted it was true, and that Jennifer Aniston's psychic was a medium named Rebecca Rosen. Even more controversial in 2009 was a video released by the Psychic Friends Network showing actress Vivica A. Fox saying that she uses their psychics. Fox later retracted the endorsement in a statement to Black Voices, saying that they did not properly authorize the footage for release and demanded they "cease and desist."
Many celebrities are far more open about their trust in or at least willingness to try psychics. For four years, a television show called Crossing Over with John Edward provided a perfect forum for this, as the latter half of his show often included a one-on-one reading with a celebrity guest. Edward also had special "Celebrity Spotlight" episodes that only included personal readings with celebrities. Some of the stars on his show included Backstreet Boy, A.J. McLean, Nancy Grahn from General Hospital, John Stalley from The Best Damn Sports Show Period, Melissa Gilbert, Roma Downey, Jenny McCarthy, Joan Jett, Kristin Chenoweth and Alison Sweeny of The Biggest Loser and Days of Our Lives.
While some who don't believe in psychic readings scoff at the celebrities who get them, others applaud their open mindedness, and are moved when the celebrities speak of feeling more hope and connection to those who have passed away.
As our culture becomes more and more receptive to understanding the unknown, more celebrities come forward, ready to admit that they use psychics in their personal lives, or even willing to share their psychic readings on television. For celebrities and for all of us, grounding advice can help bring our heads out of the clouds and give a much-needed reality check.