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Questions from Earth, Answers from Heaven
A Psychic Intuitive's Discussion of Life, Death, and What Awaits Us Beyond
By Char Margolis, Victoria St. George
St. Martin's Press Copyright © 1999 Char Communications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
I Talk to Dead People for a Living
What do you say when someone asks, "What do you do?" If you're a truck driver or CEO or artist or teacher or manager or ditch-digger, it's easy. But what do you say when you're in a profession like mine?
Occasionally I'll say, "I talk to dead people — and what's more, they talk back to me. Some people just never know when to shut up!"
For the past twenty-five years, I've given readings for thousands of people, mostly in private sessions, sometimes on TV and radio in front of millions. The media usually calls me a psychic intuitive, but I like to think of myself as "your most affordable long-distance carrier to the other side," since I connect people with loved ones who just happen to be dead!
I'll never forget the time I went shopping for carpeting, and I was chatting with the salesman. He was a nice man but a character: tall, thin, and with a really obvious toupee. He asked me what I did and I told him. He was a little taken aback, so I said, "Let me give you an example," and I proceeded to spell out his grandfather's name, Chaim (a rather unusual name). The reading convinced the salesman I was genuine — and from then on he wouldn't leave me alone! The whole time I was looking at samples and ordering my carpet, he was asking questions about his family, his health, his business. He even followed me out to the parking lot. He was literally running after my car yelling, "Wait! Wait! Should I sell the diamonds?" Needless to say, I got a great deal on my carpet.
Through the years I've made a name for myself because I pick up specific names, facts, images, and relationships that no one could possibly know other than the person I'm reading for. On live television and radio, I'll tell people about their mother, father, spouse, fiancée, boss. Some of the most touching messages are from departed relatives who want to let the living know that death has not obliterated the love they feel for those who are still here.
I recently shot the pilot for my own television show, where I did readings on camera for people I'd never met before. Let me give you a sample of my session with Lois, which we did in front of a studio audience. As with all of my readings, I asked Lois not to lead me in any way but simply to confirm the information I was giving her.
Char What's your name?
Char Is there somebody with a J or G?
Char A J? Deceased? Or living?
Char Is this J a male?
Lois J male.
Char Is there an N or M in his name?
Lois In his last name.
Char In his first name is there an E? Like Jeff, or J-E, or Joseph? Joseph?
Lois Yes — that's his name.
Char Is this family to you?
Char Is this your ex-husband?
Char Did either of you, did you have a problem with a child? Did you lose a child? Was this his child as well?
Char You know what? I have a feeling this child's here, but I just can't hear the name. But this is Joseph's child and your child. Is there an R in the name, it starts with R, or it's in it?
Lois In it.
Char Is there an E in it? Start with E? Or is it E-R, or R-E in the name?
Char I can't hear the name. This person isn't used to talking to me and I'm not used to talking to them. Maybe ... was there somebody else deceased that's a J, like on Joseph's side of the family? Did he have a grandfather or father?
Lois His father.
Char Was his father's name Joseph, too?
Char That's who I think is in here. Was he a strong personality, his dad?
Lois I didn't know him.
Char I feel him as a strong personality. He wants you to know ... I don't know how you got along with this man. Did you like him?
Lois I didn't know him.
Char Because he's with your child. But this would be his grandchild. And he wants you to know that your child is okay. For some reason ... there's not a B or D with this name, is there?
Char Starts with D and there's an R in it? Is it D-ER? (Lois shakes head no.) But D-E and there's an R in it. Is it Deborah? It is Deborah?
Lois(Nods yes, crying.)
Char It's taking me awhile to hear her. But she wants you to know she's all right. Oh, now I'm seeing the balloons. Did you send balloons up for her? She's saying somebody put balloons on her grave site?
Char She's showing me the balloons. Did somebody also send a balloon up in the air for her?
Lois I don't know.
Char You don't know. But she wants you to think of her as free, that her spirit is free. Are you ... are you wearing anything that was Deborah's?
Char She's saying, "Mom, you're wearing my jewelry! Let me see!" (From underneath her turtle-neck shirt, Lois pulls out a ring which is on a chain around her neck.) Was that her class ring?
Lois She never got to wear it.
Char She's a good soul. Sometimes different people come into our lives as teachers, and I have a feeling Deborah was here as a teacher, to teach us about love, and to teach you about the relationship between a parent and a child. And there's nothing that I can say that will ever bring her back or make this better. The only good news is, when you pass over to the other side, she'll be there with you. She'll be waiting for you. She says, "Mom, I came to you in a dream!"
Lois(Shakes her head no.)
Char Who did she come to in a dream? Someone had a dream about her. Think.
Lois A cousin.
Char Your cousin. Okay. Maybe it wasn't your dream, it was your cousin's dream. And the cousin gave you a message from Deborah. What did Deborah say in the dream?
Lois That she's okay.
Char She is okay! I promise she's okay. Her grandpa is keeping an eye out for her on the other side, which even if you're not with her dad is okay, because I think Grandpa was a good guy. You know, when we don't try so hard is when the spirits can come back to us. And you will feel her again, you will dream about her, you'll see her.
After our reading, Lois said, "It was breathtaking — more than I expected. I came here hoping I would hear from Debbie; that's all I wanted. Now I feel like my daughter's in a better place." When asked about the balloons, she revealed that for the three years since her daughter's death, on Debbie's birthday every year she had gone to her grave and put a balloon there. "No one could know that but me," she said.
I do this work because I believe it's important. My clients tell me that the information they learn in our readings helps them make decisions, cope with losses, discover undetected health problems, avoid disastrous accidents, or even just get through the bad times because they know good times are just around the corner. Those are some of the concrete results. But it also means a lot to me when I see a smile on the face of a man whose beloved grandmother speaks to him after years of being separated by death ... or feel the healing of a mother who is reunited with her child who died of cancer ... or experience the confidence almost everyone feels when they don't just hope, but know, that they are still connected with those they love, even after their physical forms are gone.
I call myself "the most affordable long-distance carrier" in jest, but when I read for people, I actually see and hear their loved ones very close by. The spirits communicate by putting thoughts into my head — thoughts that just plain "feel" different than those produced by my own mind. But the actual process of tuning in psychically is very similar to the way we all get impressions that don't come from a logical place. Have you ever thought about someone you haven't heard from for a while, and then they call you a short time later? Or had a bad feeling about a particular trip or route, only to have your car break down or some other obstacle arise? Or felt the presence of someone you loved, either living or dead? We get information all the time which simply can't have come from our logical minds yet which turns out to be true. Because I've been tuning in for most of my life, I've gotten very good at using my intuition — but we all do it. Throughout this book, you're going to hear stories of people just like you who are using their intuition simply and easily, just like tuning in a radio or opening a book. And by the time you finish reading, I hope you will have had similar experiences yourself.
My dear friend and fellow intuitive Mark calls this ability "instinctive intuition." Animals have instincts, right? And those instincts are primarily used to survive. Most animals can somehow sense danger even when the cause is out of sight. Humans have a kind of survival instinct, too, but in our case it can help us with a lot more than simply staying alive. When we use our intuition regularly, when we pay attention to the information that doesn't come from our logical, left-brain side, we can pick up on energies and frequencies that are being broadcast by the universe itself. We can tune into the great "field of possibility" described by physicists, which extends beyond the physical universe into other dimensions, other levels, even other times.
Out of the Blue ...
It was one of those phone calls anyone would hate getting. I was staying with my good friend, Diana Basehart (actor Richard Basehart's widow), in Beverly Hills. It was March 1987, and I had been dividing my time between L.A. and my home in Michigan for the last several years. When Diana called me to the phone and I picked up the receiver, the voice on the other end sounded desperate. "Char? This is Scott Sandler. Shirley MacLaine suggested I give you a call. I don't know if you've been reading the papers about Dean Paul Martin. ..."
Of course I had. Everybody in Los Angeles knew about the disappearance of Dean Martin's son, Dean Paul. Dean Paul had been on a training flight with the Air National Guard and the F4 Phantom jet he had been flying had simply disappeared. The air force had been looking for him for five days but had found nothing.
"Dean Paul is my best friend," Scott said. "His family is going out of their minds not knowing what's happened, so they decided to take matters in their own hands. Dean Paul's mom called Shirley MacLaine and someone recommended you. Would you help us?"
I said yes immediately. I'd been using my psychic gift professionally for about ten years at that point, and had already been called in (quietly) on several missing person cases by police agencies in Michigan and California. That afternoon Scott Sandler and Dean Paul's brother, Ricci, came to Beverly Hills to pick me up, and we drove out to March Air Force Base in Riverside, California, about an hour and a half away. Dean Paul's training flight originated at March AFB, and his last radio transmission was sent from an area about thirty miles into the San Bernardino Mountains.
The three of us walked into a big, open room filled with what looked like dozens of military "brass." There were officers everywhere. One of them came up to us and said quietly that the air force had consulted psychics before, but obviously they didn't like the public to know about it. "We like to think we can find our fliers ourselves," he told us.
At that point, the air force had been combing the area with planes and helicopters for five days. President Ronald Reagan had even authorized a couple of spy planes to fly over the area and take infrared photographs to see if that would help spot the wreckage. However, nothing had turned up. So there I was, a civilian, in jeans, amid this sea of air force officers, being asked to do what the entire U.S. military hadn't managed to accomplish: find Dean Paul Martin.
Quite frankly, I'm not the best at remembering a lot of detail about incidents or readings. I do remember asking one of the officers for a map of the area. Ricci Martin remembers that I asked to interview anyone who might have heard or seen anything having to do with Dean Paul's flight. One little girl had reported hearing a big airplane roar by at about the same time Dean Paul had been heard from last. (That day had been cloudy and stormy, so we couldn't find anyone who had actually seen the plane.) I talked to the little girl on the phone. I talked to some of the officers. Again and again I went back to the map. I remember getting initials, names, words that represented different places near where Dean Paul's last transmission had come from. At one point I saw and felt the spirits of air force officers from World Wars I and II in the room. I knew they all wanted to help me find Dean Paul.
Then it all became clear. "Here," I said, pointing to a specific spot on the map. "If you fly over this area in either a helicopter or an airplane, you'll be able to see where Dean Paul is."
The officers protested, telling me they'd already been over that area several times. "It doesn't matter," I said. "He's on the side of a mountain, but the crash site is camouflaged by a tree. If you look for the tree, you'll see something hanging from it, and that's where he is."
At that point I could tell the level of skepticism in the room had risen considerably. Nevertheless, the order was issued for search parties to fly over the area I had pinpointed.
Scott and Ricci wanted to take a helicopter up themselves to check out that location. One of the officers volunteered to drive us over to Riverside Airport where we could hire a civilian chopper. "And I'd like to come with you, if I could," he said, and we agreed to his request.
Ricci told me later he felt a little foolish as our helicopter roared over the valleys and hills, heading for the mountain where I said Dean Paul would be found. "Here I was, with my brother's best friend and a psychic I had met only that day, searching the countryside for my brother based upon her 'knowing' where he would be found — even though the entire U.S. military hadn't been able to locate him after five days! My brother would have said I was out of my mind."
But as we were flying along I almost felt as if I had been in these valleys and mountains before. I knew exactly where to go. I was telling the pilot, "Go right through this canyon and then left here," and he told me that was exactly how to get to the spot I had pointed to on the map.
Then all of a sudden a call came over the radio. "We have located an unidentified object that appears to be wreckage. This airspace must now be considered restricted. No civilian aircraft are permitted in this area. Repeat, all civilian aircraft are to stay out of this area."
What could we do? We turned back. At least they let us land at March AFB rather than sending us back to Riverside. Scott, Ricci, and I drove back to L.A. with no confirmation that they had found Dean Paul — other than the certainty we felt in our hearts.
A few hours later, Dean Paul's family got the call that confirmed his death in a plane crash. He had been flying in formation with three other jets in very stormy, cloudy weather. His radio and radar were not working very well, and he had not been able to get permission to gain "altitude immediately" from the air control tower at Ontario Airport. Unable to see, unable to fly straight up for fear of crossing the path of commercial aircraft in the area, Dean Paul had turned his plane to the left — and slammed straight into the side of a mountain. The impact was so great that the plane's transponder (which normally broadcasts a signal which allows search crews to locate a downed plane) had been completely obliterated.
That same night, I too got a call, from one of the captains at March AFB. It seemed the wreckage had been found exactly where and how I had seen it. Because of the overhanging tree and the complete destruction of the airplane, it would have been next to impossible for anyone to find the site without clear directions about where to look. "I just want you to know, you made a lot of skeptics into believers today," he said.
I felt sad and happy — happy I was able to help, but sad that this family now had to cope with the loss of a beloved son, brother, husband, and father. Based on my years of communicating with the souls of those who have died, I knew without a doubt that Dean Paul's spirit was still alive even though his body was no longer here; yet I also knew the pain his family would be going through.
To this day, I'm glad to say I consider Ricci Martin a friend. He has told me again and again how much it meant to him that I was able to find Dean Paul and end his family's uncertainty. He's complained that I never got the recognition I deserved for my help. But I don't do this work for recognition. I do it because I believe it's important, because I know we and our loved ones will continue to live on, because I want people to understand that we all share this gift of intuition, this sixth sense that puts us in touch with things we would never know otherwise. And by reading this book, I want you to learn how to tap in to your God-given instinct to help make your life better, safer, and happier than ever before.
Excerpted from Questions from Earth, Answers from Heaven by Char Margolis, Victoria St. George. Copyright © 1999 Char Communications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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