Psychic Matters!

PM 066: Midlife Medium with Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

June 16, 2022 Ann Theato / Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Psychic Matters!
PM 066: Midlife Medium with Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Show Notes Transcript

#066 My guest, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, is a Certified Genealogist and Writer and she's also a Medium, a Certificate and Diploma holder of the Spiritualists' National Union. She's also one of America's most skilled and respected family historians and authors. Sharon is in the studio to discuss her latest book, Mid Life Medium: a Genealogist's Quest to Converse with the Dead, a book she has written about her lifetime of spiritual unfoldment, from schoolgirl spellcaster, to fully qualified and credentialed medium.

My name is Ann Théato, and the mission of the Psychic Matters Podcast, is to teach you proven techniques for spiritual and psychic development from the comfort of your own home. I investigate the teachings of experts across the globe, to bring you their wisdom, their advice and their spiritual wealth.

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Ann

Hello Everyone, my name is Ann Théato and welcome to episode 66 of the Psychic Matters podcast.

Please do subscribe to the show on your favourite podcast listening platform, so you don’t miss any upcoming episodes and do consider joining us over on Facebook, where we have a thriving Psychic Matters podcast page!

 

It’s been a very interesting couple of weeks for me and whoosh, it’s been busy!  I had the great pleasure of meeting in person for the first time, Psychic Medium and Published Author, Kerry Alderuccio!  Kerry has been on this podcast before (episode 54) discussing her amazing books, Demystifying Mediumship and A Mother’s Journey – she lives in Australia and she was over here to join other amazing mediums at the Arthur Findlay College.  And I had the greatest pleasure of spending a beautiful afternoon and evening in her company – and fabulously she brought along with her some other incredible mediums – Dani Van De Velde and Pamela Pollington, so well all had a wonderful time together and – absolute bonus too -  I also had a visit from incredible medium and tutor Stacy Christopher who was visiting London from California, also on her way to the Arthur Findlay College, so it has been a wonderful meeting of like-minded people and I think it would be fair to say we all enjoyed each other’s company very much indeed!  Sadly, I wasn’t able to join them at the Arthur Findlay College but I am booked to go there in December for a week, so I’m very much looking forward to that.

 

In other news, I have started my next training course with the SNU – this time studying the CSNUt which is one of their teacher training schemes and I have chosen to teach mediumship.  You know I do have a huge desire to be a tutor one day at the Arthur Findlay College.  Wouldn’t that be just amazing?  It’s a long, long, journey to get there though, and I’ve been training with the SNU for seven years so far!  Each of these training courses is perhaps another little step closer, so we shall see how everything unfolds.  So, I’m going to have a busy week this week putting together some lesson plans for that training course.  I’m also very busy behind the scenes creating & filming a fully downloadable course, which you can learn in your own time. It’s on the Teachable platform and when it goes on sale – hopefully in the Autumn, you will be the first to know!  It’s called SUPER PSYCHIC: Learn step-by-step transformative techniques to unlock your powerful psychic intuition & understand how to integrate it fully, for fast-track results, in your everyday life and 1:1 readings.  So, if that is something that interests you, email me ann@anntheato.com because I will be launching this course with a very limited number of students at a great discount.  So do email me and I will put you on my priority booking list for that programme. 

 

And I’m also very busy behind the scenes working on a 6-month mentorship programme – The Art Of Remote Viewing.  It starts in January 2023.  Remote Viewing is the ability to see across space and time.  All human beings have this capacity and this unique mentorship programme will teach you how to transcend your physical senses in order to use both your psychic & mediumistic senses to gather and “view” information that is non-physical.  A remote viewer will tap into the collective unconscious that connects everyone and everything in the universe and I invite you to join me on this unique 6-month mentorship programme, where I will teach you techniques and methods to strengthen and sharpen your innate remote viewing skills.  All the details are on my website for this programme – anntheato.com so go check it out.  I’d love to see you in class!

 

And now, settle back, relax and get ready to enjoy this week’s podcast.

 

 

Ann  

Hi, I'm in the Psychic Matters studio today with Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. Sharon is a Certified Genealogist and Writer and she's also a Medium, a Certificate holder and a Diploma holder of the Spiritualists' National Union, and she's one of America's most skilled and respected family historians and authors. You may recognise her name, because Sharon has been on this podcast before with her previous book, In Search of Maria B. Hayden, the American medium who brought spiritualism to the UK, and I'm so excited that she has agreed to come back again as a guest to discuss her latest book, Mid Life Medium, a genealogist’s quest to converse with the dead. It's a book she's written about her lifetime of spiritual unfoldment from schoolgirl spellcaster to fully qualified and credentialed medium. Please do give her a warm round of applause from the comfort of your armchairs at home. Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, welcome back to Psychic Matters.

 

Sharon 

Thank you, and it's so good to be back. And that was a lovely introduction. I'm sorry, my subtitles are so long.

 

Ann  

Oh, no, your books are so fascinating, and I know you're just about to publish Midlife Medium. I think you said your publication date was June 21. Is that right?

 

Sharon 

Yes. That is correct. It's with Kohler books. And it will be released June 21. However, pre orders are now available on all Amazon marketplaces.

 

Ann  

Fantastic. And I have to say it's a really, really funny book. And it's fascinating. So, Sharon, what inspired you to write it and tell the listeners what it's all about?

 

Sharon 

Okay, well, it's kind of interesting. I don't do things, the way normal people do them. I decided I wanted to become a medium at the age of 56. I had no prior experiences with the spirit world. Even though I tried. I tried ouija boards, the most boring, ouija board experience. I tried all sorts of things to communicate with the dead and nothing ever happened. So, at the age of 56, after watching a medium on television here in the United States, the Long Island Medium, I thought, gee, I wonder if anybody can do that. And so I began this quest. And as a genealogist, I feel like our ancestors listen to us, and help us with our research, or they put up brick walls if they don't want us to research them. And so I wondered, can I develop mediumship, become a medium, and converse with ancestors or get them to help me a little bit with my research. And so I decided, well, I'm going to write a book about my journey. And that's what the books about it's about my journey, all the silly and stupid and funny things that happened as well as the serious things that happened.

 

Ann  

So, you mentioned that you had a very boring Ouija board experience. Tell us, a lot of people say, you know, we shouldn't be messing about with Ouija boards and things. What is your understanding of it, as you have explored it so far?

 

Sharon 

I don't see ouija boards as any kind of problem. I don't see them as evil. Because if you've read my book In Search of Maria B Hayden, that's where the Ouija board started. She used a piece of cardboard with the alphabet and the numbers are just like a ouija board, except people pointed at letters with a pencil and waited for the raps. And so ouija boards are actually a part of spiritualist history. They were used in the early, early days. So, I don't find them at all scary. I have a Ouija board displayed on top of my desk. And I think they're wonderful.

 

Ann  

And so, what, why was your experience with it so boring, then?

 

Sharon 

It was so boring because I didn't, well, the book, I don't want to give away the opening of the book. I start with the Ouija board experience. It was boring because nothing really happened. I mean, I did the Ouija board with my stepmother. And I don't... I think she was moving it. I really think she was moving it! So, it was kind of boring from that standpoint. We got supposedly a spirit who was communicating, but there was no real revelation there. But I don't want to give away the opening of the book.

 

Ann  

No, absolutely not. No, no, no, don't give anything away. So, you watched the television, you watched the Long Island Medium and you thought, I wonder if anyone can train to be a medium, that was your thought, is that right? 

 

Sharon 

Correct. 

 

Ann  

Yeah. And so what did you do then?

 

Sharon 

Well, I really didn't know what to do. Because of my academic background, I looked for books first, you know, I thought surely there are books about how to do this. And I did find a number of books. Most of them were written by American mediums which have a different viewpoint on development and training, a different viewpoint on the seven principles, they have nine principles. And they have a different viewpoint on the hierarchy of the spirit world, then the British do, in the Spiritualists National Union, which resonated a lot more with me. And in all these books, the number one goal was to get in touch with your spirit guides, and to sit in meditation, and get to know your spirit guides. And you had all these different spirit guides for different things and everything. And I never could do it. You know, you're supposed to visualise walking along a path and sitting on a bench and your spirit guide would come and sit next to you. And I'd sit for I don't know how long and nobody came and sat with me. So, it was it was a difficult journey in that regard. Because I was trying to learn how to be a medium from a book. I couldn't find any classes where I live, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is the capital of Mormonism, LDS religion. The few that I found didn't really resonate with me. I hadn't stumbled upon SNU yet. So, I had difficulty finding a circle and difficulty finding classes, the American mediums do not have virtual classes. And in order to get training, you had to belong to a church. And I didn't have any of that. So, I really had a lot of starts and stops on my journey, because I couldn't find a teacher or a mentor. 

 

Ann  

And so, I think a lot of people find it difficult actually, there's so much to ask you. 

 

Sharon 

That's okay!

 

Ann  

Where my mind goes, I think a lot of people find it very difficult to visualise. That's something I found when I'm teaching students, they find it hard to make those pictures, initially. And so, so what did you do then to, let's say, for instance, in this quest to meet your spirit guide, who didn't come and sit with you in your visualisation, how did you then get to know your spirit guides?

 

Sharon 

I don't think I got to know them until I found the SNUi. And until I found a good teacher, who was Margaret Challenger at the time, she was teaching on SNUi. And then later, Paul Jacobs. So, it was Margaret, her take was it's not important to know their names. It's not important to know who they are, what role they serve in your life, it's important to trust that they're there. And to sit with them. If you see them fine. If you don't, that's fine. If you feel them, fine. If you don't, that's fine. I did along my journey, this is not in the book, actually have a vision, an unexpected, unplanned vision of my team, no faces just a group of people, which thrilled me to death because I didn't have anything. I'm not clairvoyant. I'm not very clairvoyant, I should say I do get pictures. Now occasionally, I'm more clairsentient. And once I adopted Margaret's philosophy, you don't need to know their names. You don't need to know who they are. You don't need to know what each individual's function is. Just trust that they are there. That took so much pressure off me, because I kept feeling like I was doing it wrong. And then I would never be a medium because I couldn't meet my spirit guides. So that was a huge difference from the way I was reading in the books that Americans teach how to meet your spirit guides.

 

Ann  

So, could you explain Sharon, what the SNUi is?

 

 

Well, it's a branch of the Spiritualists' National Union, it used to be called the Spiritualists' National Union International but I believe they dropped that and now we have an acronym with nothing. I don't know what it means anymore. But basically, it was all online and it still is online, online classes, on your ability to train as a medium, get credentials as a medium, attend services. This was a godsend to me because I didn't have anything here in Utah and like I said, the, there are no American spiritualist churches here in Utah. There are no spiritualist churches, here, period. So, when I discovered the SNUi, it was truly a godsend. I wish God had sent it much earlier. I took a lot of detours to get there. But I guess as they say, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. So, when I finally found the SNU in 2015 and joined, I was like a kid in a candy shop. I attended every class I could. I enrolled in PAS probably sooner than I should have, I was just so excited to learn and to be involved. And I have absolutely no regrets. It was the turning point in me developing as a medium.

 

Ann  

Yeah, the SNUi is an absolutely fantastic resource for anybody who's listening out there who wants to train and do some training, because you can pay such a small amount every year. I think it's only; I don't know how much it is actually, I cannot say, but it's ...

 

Sharon 

 I can't either. I think it's around £21 ...

 

Ann  

 Something like that, very, very cheap. But you get all your classes for free. And you can attend as many as you like, across the entire year, every single day it is just fantastic value. And of course, they've got some wonderful teachers on there as well.

 

Sharon 

Absolutely. And there's so much more offered now than when I joined in 2015. When I joined, there was like one thing a day, maybe two. Now you go on there. And it's like, oh my gosh, there's so much.  You can you can spend all day long.

 

Ann  

I know, it's a joy, isn't it? There are so many classes, spirit art and aurographs and so many different things. 

 

Sharon 

And the circle that I lead on Tuesdays,

 

Ann  

Oh, tell us about that. Tell us about that.

 

Sharon 

Things have changed in the SNU, SNUi, but after I got PAS back then, which was in 2018. 

 

Ann  

And just say what PAS is because some people may not know.

 

Sharon 

I'm sorry, you're right, the Platform Accreditation Scheme, that's the first step in your journey toward your certificate, to become a certificate holder, as a medium, is the Platform Accreditation Scheme. And what I had to do to get that was, oh, now I can't remember how many, something like two dozen services as a medium and two dozen services as a inspired speaker. I think it was around two dozen. Don't hold me to that. And they've changed things. And then I did my assessment online and achieved my Platform Accreditation Scheme, my PAS or PASi because it was on SNUi, I was allowed to lead a circle after that. Now you have to be a certificate holder or certificate holder with a teacher thing. But I was allowed to lead a circle. And so I started as two circles, one on Monday evenings for US time, which I have since had to give up, but someone else has taken over. And on Tuesdays at 6pm UK time, I hold a circle. And it's an hour long. Usually there are a dozen, sometimes two dozen people who attend. I keep a list of those who work so that everybody rotates and gets a chance. And we practice demonstrating mediumship, not private mediumship. And we just have a good time. We sometimes, I always play upbeat music ahead of time. Sometimes I played the song, the YMCA by the Village People and we're all doing the hand movements! Next week, we have an exercise with hands. And so we will be doing the hand jive. So, we always do fun things. It's a lot of fun.

 

Ann  

Sounds great. Sounds really, really good. So, there's a very good reason for people to join the SNUi, so they can come and join your circle. You spoke also Sharon there, about using your clairsentience more perhaps than your clairvoyance. And there may be people listening who aren't really sure what clairsentience is, perhaps you could explain that for them? 

 

Sharon 

Sure. Most people when they start out doing mediumship are very clairvoyant, they see pictures in their mind. And that's because that's our dominant sense in, here in the physical world. And so it's not unusual to have a medium who's starting out, to have a lot of pictures and be able to see outlines of spirits. They don't look the way we look at a person in the physical world, but they can see enough that they can tell. I wasn't that way. I was always clairsentient, feeling spirit and just knowing. So, what I teach in my circle, I'm not trying to shut down anybody's clairvoyance. I'm not trying to shut down the pictures they get in their mind. What I'm trying to do, as I was taught by Margaret Challenger, and also Paul Jacobs, is to find out, what is the significance of that picture. If spirit shows you a red car, that's not evidence. You can't, you can say I have a gentleman here, he feels like father, and he's showing me a red car, do you understand that? And if the recipient says, no, you don't want to doubt what you got. So now you have to go to your clairsentience. And I wrote an article about this called Mediumship of The Heart, which is on my website, and you have to go to your clairsentience, to your heart to feel what the significance is of that red car. Why is spirit showing you that? That's the evidence. And so that's what I teach in my circle. And when I teach private classes I teach, okay, the picture is fine. Spirit takes a lot of energy to put that picture there. But if you hang on to it, your own mind will take over and create a story. And so that's why you have to go to your heart to feel what the story is what the significance is.

 

Ann  

So, you're a teacher with the SNUi, which is massive. You've got all these wonderful qualifications through the SNU and the SNUi, how did you get to that point, because your book that you've written, Midlife Medium, where we start out with you, is, you see the Long Island Medium, and you think, I'd like to get there. So, there's a lot that's happened in between that so... I know you said you've, so you've discovered the SNUi, you've discovered the training and you've gone down that route. But what else began to unfold for you? As you unfolded your mediumship as it were, what else is there, part of the story?

 

Sharon 

Right, that is, that does sound like a big leap. There was stuff that came in between. So, what happened on my journey, because I couldn't find a teacher, I couldn't find anything. I happened upon an organisation, an American organisation that was called the Forever Family Foundation. And they were holding an annual conference, which included mediums who would be demonstrating, as well as scientists who were speaking. One of the, the keynote speaker was Kim Russo, who is also on American television. And I just loved her mediumship. And it was in San Diego, California, which is not that far from Salt Lake City. So, my husband and I decided we would go to this conference, which was great. But there was no real training for mediums at the conference. It was just informational and mediums were demonstrating. And one of the people I spoke with said the quickest way to develop your mediumship is through healing, doing healing. Well, unfortunately, she didn't explain to me what she meant by that. So, I get home and I start Googling healing. And I find Reiki, so I think okay, that's healing. And so I take Reiki classes, I become a Reiki Master, Healer and Teacher. And so I'm down that road. And, but it's not helping me become a medium, but it was helping me heal myself. And that's what I needed. That's the step I needed. So this woman, who also suggested healing, and didn't explain what healing mediumship was, she just said, get involved in healing. And it wasn't that woman, another woman I talked with at this conference said, oh, I think there's somebody in Utah who does shamanic healing. So I start Googling and looking at that and I find a teacher who takes students privately, one on one, for shamanic healing. So I go down that road. And again, and in, if you, if the listeners know anything about shamanism, you go to different worlds, the upper world, lower world and and the middle world, and you meet your spirit, animal and spirit teachers, is what they called them. And my spirit animal was a mermaid. I thought this is crazy. Anyway, I'm a mermaid. And so I, I explore that. And in the book, I explain all that and, in my journey, there. But again, that was another important step for me. I did meet spirit teachers, I did see them, that was important for developing my clairvoyance. And it was important again for more of my own healing. So, each of these diversions into Reiki and Shamanism, even though they weren't doing what I saw on television and thought what a medium is supposed to do, they were important in my own journey, in my own healing and my own development, although I didn't realise it at the time. And then it was shortly after that, that I discovered the SNUi.

 

Ann  

Yeah, and I think the thing about your book, the great takeaway for me when I read it was, the fact that you come from a sceptical viewpoint, you don't just go in there believing all the fluff and nonsense and the woowoo, you look at it from quite a sceptical, until proven otherwise, you've remained quite sceptical about it. And you're looking at, for the scientific approach, which I found fascinating.

 

Sharon 

Yes. And the main reason for that is my daughter is a science teacher and a sceptic. So, I was also, not only was I sceptical and did I want to make sure I was following the science and not being loony, and just accepting anything. But I wanted to prove to her that I wasn't crazy. I wanted to prove to her that there was a spirit world, I never did but we did come to a meeting of the minds.  Again, I don't want to give away the book, you'll have to read it and see how how that relationship devolved, but it was very touch and go between my daughter and I, for quite a while, while I was doing my development, because she is not, her God is science. And everything I did was with, okay, I've got to have the science to back it up. I have to have proof so to speak, I have to be able to say, this is not a coincidence, by the way. I don't believe coincidence is scientific anyway. But I have to have something that will show her that I'm not crazy, and that there is a spirit world. And so, you'll have to read the book to see how that ends.

 

Ann  

Yeah, your relationship with your daughter is so beautifully described in that book. You've got such a close relationship, and it's just wonderful and very funny. The two of you, yeah, yeah.

 

Sharon 

That's how we that's how we are in real life.

 

Ann  

Yeah, it's beautiful. It's like, it's like we're there just listening quietly to your conversation. It's beautiful. It's beautiful. 

 

Sharon 

Thank you 

 

Ann  

What made you write this book then about this journey that you've been on to unfold your mediumship?

 

Sharon 

Well, there there are two answers to that. The initial reason I wrote it was I was looking for a book project and I wanted to write a memoir. And in memoir, there is such a sub-genre called immersion memoir, where you immerse yourself in something and write about your experiences. In America, the most famous was Nellie Bly in the 19th century, she committed herself to an insane asylum to see what went on in insane asylums, and then she wrote about it. Or another one is Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed. And she deliberately works as a waitress to see how waitresses survive on their income, and what the work is like. And so initially, I had graduated with my Master of Fine Arts and creative nonfiction writing, I was publishing my thesis, which was a collection of essays called inheriting the Gordon hips. And I was looking for another book project. And then when I saw the Long Island Medium and wondered if anyone could become a medium, especially somebody like me, who was 56, and didn't have any prior spirit experiences, I thought, well, this is a good immersion. It took me long to write the book only because Maria Hayden interrupted it and said, write my book now. And so, I spent four years writing a book. So, what happened in the book happened, I'm 65. Now, and I was 56, when I started, so it happened a while ago. But as I wrote it, I'm glad I didn't write it, then I'm glad I waited until I had gotten my credentials, until I was teaching, until I had more experience under my belt. That's not all covered in the book. But it gave me a different perspective on writing the book, that this could help other people who were also trying to do the same thing and getting frustrated, because they can't find a teacher or they can't figure out how, how to develop their mediumship. And so it became a book that I hope inspires people. And at the end, I have some guidance and suggestions for developing mediumship.  Top of them - joining the SNUi.

 

Ann  

That's really, really, really good. So, what, what do deduce? Or do we have to read the book to find the answer to this question? Can anyone become a medium?

 

Sharon 

Oh, yes, I think anyone can. You don't have to read the book? I can tell you right now. Anyone can become a medium. Can anyone become a good medium? Yes. If you're willing to dedicate the time and the discipline into becoming a good medium, you don't have to be a fabulous medium. You just have to be a good enough medium, a good medium to serve the spirit world. And then you strive to be a better medium, of course, but yes, I believe anyone can become a medium. I don't believe  everyone wants to dedicate the time and the discipline to do it. My husband, who is also a big part of my memoir was very supportive of the journey. And I kept asking him, do you want to do this too, and he says, I don't have the time and the discipline that I wanted to devote to this. And so he was very wise to recognise this, even though he attended some circles with me and demonstrated to himself that he could do it. But he saw how much time and dedication I put into becoming a good, and hopefully, I don't want to say I'm a great medium, I think I'm a good medium, but he didn't want to spend his time and didn't feel like he had the discipline to do it. So, I think anybody can, but will anyone?

 

Ann  

That is a very interesting answer, because I would agree with that as well. And I don't think people who set off on this journey realise how long it takes and how much effort has to be put in to be a good medium. 

 

Sharon 

Yep.

 

Ann  

It does take total dedication, and you do end up, well, my experience has been that I thought I'd be able to go to a class, Sharon, and then go home to my normal life and still be a good medium. But I realised, that I either have to do it or just not do it. So, I dedicated myself to it. And now I find I, I walk every day, every moment of every day, with my foot in both worlds. So, there's this constant dialogue with the spirit world for me, all the time, throughout every single day. I'm teaching classes, I'm sitting in the power, I'm meditating, and I'm demonstrating and I'm reading for people. So, it's, it's a bit like an athlete, I suppose, who has to constantly practice. I  also work for a beautiful concert pianist, very part time, Lucy Parham. She's absolutely beautiful. But she has to practice six hours a day, in order to play these beautiful pieces of music. So, she puts in the time.  Athletes, they put in the time, don't they? So, it's not for the faint of heart.

 

Sharon 

No, it is not. But I would like to add something to that. When I first became a medium, I thought I would just be doing private readings. I thought that's what you do. Because that's what I saw on television, I didn't know anything, the difference between a demonstrating medium or a spirit artist or I didn't know any of that, or an inspirational speaker. I didn't know any of that until I joined the SNUi. And now I have found my mediumship, I teach every week, I demonstrate when I can on SNUi. However, I don't have an in-person platform, because there are no churches here. And quite frankly, I was not meant to be a private sitting medium. I was meant to be a demonstrating medium. But where I found my mediumship has taken me. And like you said, you have a foot in the spirit world every day, is, it is taking me back to my genealogical roots. Because we have spirit artists. We have inspirational speakers, but we don't really think about it. But I consider myself a spirit writer. Now that's not to say I do inspirational writing, which is where spirit inspires me to write philosophy. I'm not an automatic writer, where spirit grabs my hand and I don't know what they're writing, they're just writing. I'm not that. What I am, is a writer of life stories. And I realised that when I wrote Maria Hayden's story, because I really feel she inspired me to write her biography the way she wanted it written and to find records, probably no one else would find. And my current book that I'm working on, I, at first, I didn't think this lady, I don't want to give too much away about this current book. But I didn't think this lady who was a spiritualist wanted her story told, because I kept feeling do I want to do it? Do I not want to do it? I don't feel like I'm connected to her. I'm not sure how to write this. I'm not sure where her story is really going. And I kept saying to her, if you want this book written, I'm willing to write it, but I need your help. You have to guide my research. You have to guide how I'm telling the story. And it wasn't until just a couple of weeks ago, I kept going back and forth back and forth because I felt she was going back and forth. And whether she wanted her story told, and it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago, where the research just became easy. And anyone who's done genealogical research knows that sometimes it's easy, and sometimes it's not. And there were things that I uncovered that I thought this, I'm being guided, because the things that I were, that I uncovered, are not something most people would do. I will tell you one example.  The night before last I said to her, I said, I have to know how you met your husband. Because I can't put your families together in the same place. At the same time. I don't know how you met, I need to know how you and your husband met. Yesterday, she guided me to school records. And there's one year, 1839, where she is listed, the guy is listed and the guy's sister is listed in the school records.  One year.

 

Ann  

That's amazing. 

 

Sharon 

And that's how I knew how they met. They met, the sister, the sister, and the lady I'm working on, were in the Ladies Academy. They knew each other. And the sister introduced her to the brother. That's how they met. I mean, anyone who's done genealogical research has wondered how couples meet. Sometimes you can figure it out just from the evidence. And sometimes you can't, it's rare to have something concrete like that fall into your lap. So, then I knew her story needed to be told,

 

Ann  

Yeah, that's amazing. But how did she inspire you to get to that? How did that work?

 

Sharon 

How it worked was, I kept thinking, okay, her father, her father and his father were both cabinet makers at one point, but I can't put them in the same city together at the same time. So, they couldn't have met through their father's work. And then I thought, well, maybe they attended church together. But again, they weren't ... one guy is in New York City and the other guy is in Boston. I'm thinking, how are they getting together? They're in two different cities. And so, I was flipping through a book called Everyday Life in the 1800s. And there was a paragraph on how people met. And I knew they met through church; I knew they met through families. And I knew they met through schools. But I never dreamed someone from New York City and someone  from Boston would be going to the same school, because they went to a boarding school. And so they were sent to a boarding school one year, is all it took for them to meet.

 

Ann  

So, how did it but how, how did you find that out? I mean, what I'm, I think what I'm asking is, how did she inspire you to get there?

 

Sharon 

Okay, so, so then she inspired me, look at him, look at him, which often when researching female ancestors, you have to look at the man, that, because women didn't leave records. So I Googled his name and education, because I really didn't know where he went to school. And I came up with Wikipedia, which I had seen before, but I hadn't really focused on where he went to school. So it told me where he went to school. And so then I Googled the school. And then I found online. It's called, I've got it right here because I'm still working on it. It's called The Monson Academy Student Name Index. And it lists everybody who went to this academy, and that's where Wikipedia said the man went to, but there was no source cited. I was just searching the school trying to find class lists and this came up, a student name list.

 

Ann  

So, did you say to her, help me I'll trust whatever you give me? And then, how did it work from her to you? To communicate, so you knew where to look?

 

Sharon 

Right. The night before, I said, I need to know how you two met. You need to inspire me. I'm open to wherever you take me. And so I just followed my gut. And trust that she's inspiring me. 

 

Ann  

Yeah. Amazing.

 

Sharon 

Look here, look there. It's like, okay, I mean, I don't hear a voice. I just feel inspired to look at particular records or down a particular path. Like I said, I never would have dreamed they went to school together because she was in Boston, and he was in New York City. What were the odds that they went to the same school? It never crossed my mind.

 

Ann  

I think that's the thing about mediumship, it can be so subtle. 

 

Sharon 

Yes. 

 

Ann  

And that inspiration is so soft. 

 

Sharon 

Yes. 

 

Ann  

You have to be ready to catch it as it comes. 

 

Sharon 

Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. So, getting back to your original point about doing readings and demonstrations and teaching and this and that, where I feel the most guided, is to tell these, the stories of these spiritualists in history. And I felt very, and how I found her, how I found her, I had just finished reading a book by Kate Moore. I think it's titled The Woman They Could Not Silence and it's about Elizabeth Packer Wear who was in an insane asylum. And one of the people who was in the insane asylum with her was a Spiritualist, she was locked up for that. So I thought, oh, I bet there are plenty of other women who were put in insane asylums in the 19th century for this. So I turned to the newspapers and I, I did a newspaper search on insanity and spiritualism. And this woman that I'm working on, popped up, there were articles about her. And I, again, I don't want to give the story away. But that's how I found her. But again, I kept going back and forth. Should I write this? Should I not, should I ... I did write an article about her on Literary Hub. And there's a link on my website. My website is www.thegenealogymedium.com.  Under media is, are my articles. And there is an article about her that I published on literary hub it's not, it's a very abbreviated version, because they had a word limit, and they don't like source citations. So there are no source citations. But it tells you the general story of her.  It is called Her Nightmare Alley. And so you can read about her there or a piece of her story.

 

Ann  

Oh, wow. Um, I'm definitely going to have a look at that after this interview. In case you could hear everybody and Sharon, any banging in the background is because my gentleman neighbour has obviously just got home from work and is deciding to carry out some DIY through the wall. So ...

 

Sharon 

I couldn't hear it. 

 

Ann  

He is only starting so we'll see. See how we go. I hope he doesn't get the drill out. So to sum up, then, Sharon, you set out to write this book about, can we converse with the dead? And do you, are there any pieces of evidence that really stand out for you, in terms of examples of how you, you personally have conversed with people who are in the spirit world?

 

Sharon 

When I started out, and I did do some private sittings. Even though I was horrible, I was just horrible. It would take me an hour to do a 15-minute reading. It was just terrible. I felt sorry for all these people what I did, because I had no teacher I what I did is I decided, hey, I'm going to do my own apprenticeship so to speak. And so, what I did was I contacted a friend on the East Coast, a friend on the West Coast, I said, I'm trying to develop mediumship, do you have anybody who would be willing to let me practice on them, because I didn't have anybody to practice on either. So I did 100 free telephone readings, I knew nothing about the person except their phone number and their first name. And there were, as I put in the book, there were a few readings that really stood out to me. And the one that really stood out to me was I was doing this reading for this lady, her father had come through. And I'm about as clairaudient as I am clairsentient, I don't often hear words, but I did in this reading, and I heard the word socket. I didn't know how, what to do with that, other than to say, this is really random. I don't know what it means. But I keep hearing the word socket. Does it mean anything to you? And she broke down in tears. And I said, what? You have to tell me, I said, I don't know what that means, you have to tell them. Normally, I would not have asked for feedback, but that I did. And she said, my father was an Italian immigrant to America. And he spoke broken English. And she says, what we would call circuit breakers, he called a socket breaker. And he sent me to the hardware store and told me to ask for socket breakers. Well, they laughed at me because they had never heard that term before. They didn't know what I was saying. And she said that became the running joke between my father and I. And I was just a little girl when he did this. And so that still gives me chills. That was the the one reading I mean, there were several others, but that was the one reading where I thought okay, I can do this.

 

Ann  

That's amazing. That's a brilliant example as well. Yeah. Really, really brilliant, amazing. And 100 telephone readings that was incredible too.

 

Sharon 

 100, yep, 

 

Ann  

Yeah. Amazing.

 

Sharon 

Yep, I can't send out my, my shingle, if I don't have the experience, and that was a way I could get experience. So I kept a log and I did the reading for how it went, I detailed it all in my journal, because I knew I was going to write a book one day. And so I picked about three of those that were particularly profound and really helped convince me that I could do this. 

 

Ann  

Yeah, it's, it's, it's a fantastic, just, I'm quite blown away by that beautiful example you've just given. 

 

Sharon 

Yeah. 

 

Ann  

You said in the very beginning, when we first started talking, that there were seven principles in the spiritualist religion in the UK and nine in America. What, what's the difference there?

 

Sharon 

Well, I don't have the nine memorised. So I can't tell you exactly, their wording is much different. But what I find interesting is in the American principles, I cannot find where they got them. They don't credit Emma Hardinge Brittten as giving the original seven, and they added to them, I can't find, and I did a lot of research on this, both in my courses for the SNU, but also in my book on Maria Hayden. And I can't find where those nine principles came from. The wording on some of them is similar, or the meaning is very similar to our seven principles. They're definitely more gender friendly than the SNU's. And the SNU has gotten a lot of criticism for the, for the, quote, sexist language, referring God to 'he' and brotherhood and not being inclusive. And I have mixed emotions on that, as a genealogist and a historian, I like the historical myths, the original seven principles. But I can see where in modern times, they just don't quite work. But anyway, that's another story. So I don't know where the Americans got their principles.

 

Ann  

Interesting. Fascinating. You learn something new every day, don't you!

 

Sharon 

Yeah. 

 

Ann  

That's the thing. So you say you're writing another book? You've got a third one on the go? Of course, you're saying too much about that. How far through that one are you?

 

Sharon 

Not very,  30 pages about 30 pages because the research is what I'm basically focused on now. I write and research at the same time. And then when the research grabs me, it's like, okay, I need to go this direction. I need to keep researching this. And then I can go back and write. So it'll be a few years before this one is out yet.

 

Ann  

Well, that's okay. You carry on with that one, because we, you're now going to be marketing your Midlife Medium. 

 

Sharon 

Yes. 

 

Ann  

That's the thing. 

 

Sharon 

Yeah. 

 

Ann  

And it's such a brilliant read. I just thoroughly enjoyed it. And, 

 

Sharon  

Thank you. 

 

Ann  

It was nice to see my name in the beginning of it, I wrote you a little book endorsement.

 

Sharon 

Thank you so much for doing that. I really appreciated that.

 

Ann  

Hey, it was such a pleasure. I thought, I didn't even know if it'd be included, let alone in its entirety, yeah, it was nice. So I was like oh, I’m in it too!  But such a brilliant, brilliant read, Sharon. And, again, what I really loved about it was the fact that you look at it from every angle. Is it this way? Is it that way? How can, Is that true, true, true. And I just found that a really brilliant way to unfold your mediumship, rather than just going on blind faith, you have thoroughly explored the scientific side of it as well.

 

Sharon 

Thank you. Thank you. That's what I wanted, I hoped to achieve. That it wasn't just, hey, I believe this. And that's that because I think a lot of us are that are sceptical, and we should be sceptical.

 

Ann  

Yeah, we should be. And also in your book, the Midlife Medium, you have got methods and exercises that people can try at home, haven't you? Oh, wow, that's brilliant. What a lovely thing to do, that people can just come and listen to your experiences there.

 

Sharon 

Yes. And I also wanted to mention, I'll be doing a book launch on June 25. And I will be doing some free webinars, as well. On July 9, you can communicate with your ancestors, on August 20, anyone can become a medium which is a foundation course; September 17, writing your spiritual journey; and October 15, writing your family history. Those are all listed on www.thegenealogymedium.com under the Events page, and you can sign up for them then, and they're free. And I hope people will enjoy those. Yep, they will not be recorded. So, if, but they're free.

 

Ann  

Fantastic. Well, the book is out on June the 21st. I just want to wish you the very, very best with it. And I highly recommend everybody go and buy it because it's so enlightening, and it's so inspirational. And it's very funny.

 

Sharon 

Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate you saying that.

 

Ann  

So going forward, then Sharon, what's next for you is writing this third book, is that Is that what's coming up for your next? 

 

Sharon 

That's correct. 

 

Ann  

Have you got other projects as well?

 

Sharon 

Well, it's actually my 28th book.

 

Ann  

I do beg your pardon!

 

Sharon 

The other books are genealogy guidebooks and family histories and that kind of thing. I've been doing this a long time, I'm an old broad, so...

 

Ann  

That's amazing. I'm sitting here, for the benefit of listeners, with my mouth open, as she says she's written 28 books! Congratulations!

 

Sharon 

Thank you. Thank you. So, so that's my calling. Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a writer. And I think Spirit took me on various genealogy, I was able to develop my writing career. And now Spiritualism is giving me another avenue for my writing. So yeah, that's, that's it and ideas for others. If I live long enough.

 

Ann  

You're young yet Sharon. You got plenty of books in you yet, I'm sure. Thank you so much for joining us today. Sharon. It's been brilliant talking to you, always.

 

Sharon 

Thank you, Ann, I so appreciate it and I enjoyed talking with you too.

 

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack there everyone.  Please do go and buy her book Midlife Medium, it is such a brilliant read and I just know you are going to enjoy Sharon’s hilarious sense of humour and the really intelligent and intellectual stance she took when studying the subject of mediumship, always looking for the evidence, never taking anything at face value, always looking for absolute proof and studying the science that supports it.

 

Thank you for listening to Psychic Matters – I really hope you have enjoyed this episode and if you have, perhaps you would consider becoming a Patron and supporting the podcast that way.  Go to patreon.com/psychicmatters and take a look at some of the benefits of being a patron.

 

Have a fabulous couple of weeks everyone.  I’ll be studying hard for my next exam, so do send kind thoughts my way, as I’m deep in paperwork again!

 

 

My name is Ann Théato and thank you for listening to Psychic Matters.­