Read Born Knowing, as it’s the first part of John’s amazing story of how he embraced his unique gift.
Read the Spirit Whisperer as John continues his fascinating story from where Born Knowing left off.
Read Psychic Navigator to learn the mechanics of how your psychic abilities work as part of developing your psychic strengths.
John has listed here the most commonly asked questions he’s been asked. Hopefully you’ll find the answer you’re looking for, or please contact us if you have a new question you’d like to ask John.
Q. Where is the Spirit World?
A. A simple question, yet with such an important answer! Well, my belief is that it isn’t above us or below us — it’s actually all around us. I was taught to believe that everything is made up of energy and vibrations. The vibrations of this physical world where we exist in human form are slow and dense, whereas the Spirit World vibrates at a much higher rate. That’s why it’s invisible to the human eye. It’s because it’s vibrating at such a high frequency that we’re unable to see it. Just like a dog whistle, we can’t hear it due to the high pitch, yet a dog can. There’s a thin layer between this world and the next (which I refer to either as “the Other-Side” or “the Spirit World”), and the only thing that separates us is the frequency of the vibrations.
Q. Can anyone become a medium?
A. One of my favorite sayings that I learned in England is: “Mediums are born — not made.” I really want to add that I firmly believe that everyone is born with a degree of psychic ability, and each and every one of us has the capability to improve and develop our awareness (psychically, intuitively, or on a deeper level of mediumship). We all have the ability to connect with our loved ones who have passed on through the power of thought and our dreams. Anyone who has seen me demonstrate will also know that another one of my favorite sayings, which has become part of my own brand, is: “Your loved ones are only a thought away.”
We can assist them in contacting us by learning to increase and raise our energy — by doing so; we’ll help in the communication by meeting them halfway. So, to answer the question, no, I don’t believe that anyone can become a medium. Rest assured, if you have the gift of mediumship, it’s likely to present itself in its own way and in its own time. My last piece of advice with respect to this question is on a somber note. I do not recommend this as something that you should dabble with. It’s such a serious subject and one that requires both delicacy and tact. It’s not something that can be picked up and put down on a whim. If you find out that you do have the gift and want to eventually practice as a working medium, it will take dedication, patience, and time, as it can be a physically demanding job. Mediumship has to develop and grow; you’ll find that most mediums spend their entire lives developing their abilities. One final point: you must also be ready to live a life of service.
Q. Are you open all the time to the Spirit World?
A. Nowadays, my answer is firmly no, although it wasn’t always quite as clear-cut. These days, when I go into a restaurant, I don’t see all your friends and relatives joining you for dinner as though it’s some huge family reunion! I’ve spent years training myself to shut off from those in the Spirit World when I’m not professional working. Why? You may well ask. Simple: it’s because I have a life here, and I need to be able to enjoy it without feeling as if I’m constantly on duty. In my workshops, I teach that we’re spiritual beings as well as physical beings, and it’s so important that we honor all of ourselves. It takes a really strong spirit to get my attention when I’m not working, as it needs to literally break through my shield, my “off switch,” but on those rare occasions when one does, I’ve now learned that I still don’t act on it every time. Just because spirits can come to me doesn’t mean they are in control — I am. I wasn’t so disciplined at the beginning, but then I was more inexperienced and possibly a little naïve. As an example, I do remember one time when I was at a party where no one knew me. I was mingling with the guests when a young man walked in and pushed past me to get a drink. As he did so, I was aware that he’d lost a brother. I could feel his brother right beside him, right there at the party. I didn’t really know quite what to do or how to behave. I had two choices, the first being to just blurt out something, and potentially shock this man by saying, “Hey, I know you lost a brother, and he’s standing right beside you!” No, somehow I don’t think that would have been the right approach. So what I did was this. I put my thoughts out to the brother and said, If you want me to give your brother a message, then you figure out how that conversation is going to come about. I put the responsibility on the spirit to work it out.
Q. When it’s my turn to cross over, will it matter what religion or faith I practiced?
A. Most religions have some belief in the afterlife, some more than others. I do believe that it helps to follow some kind of faith, and through these various teachings and a deeper understanding, it can assist us when it’s our time to cross over. I often use the analogy of the spokes of a wheel, in that each spoke represents a different religion or faith, and although each is independent of the other, ultimately they’re all moving in the same direction. We’re all born with the spark from the Divine (our spirit), so when our spirit crosses over, that spark will leave the “jacket” it’s encased in and move back into the Spirit World where we all originated from. We all survive death no matter what (if any) religion we choose to believe in.
Q. Are there different levels in the Spirit World?
A. Most definitely. Every lesson and action you take here determines what level you’ll go to when you leave this physical world. You’re incarnated into a physical body to assist you in your soul’s growth, which is why it’s so important to try to be the best you can be while you’re here. You should continually strive to be compassionate and kind, and give assistance and love to others. This will always increase your rate of vibration. When it’s your time to pass, your spirit will gravitate to its rightful level.
Q. Are there bad spirits, and if so, do they come to you?
A. In all the years I’ve done this work, I’m blessed to be able to say that I’ve yet to connect with a malevolent spirit or energy. I have a strong code of ethics in the way I run my own life, so it goes without saying that I strongly believe in the saying “Like attracts like.” I work for the highest good, consider myself a child of God, and believe in a Higher Power; therefore, I wouldn’t attract this type of energy. I’m not that keen to call them “bad spirits,” as I’d rather refer to them as spirits that exist at a lower vibration and dwell in the lower spheres of the Spirit World. They’re just farther away from the Divine Source, so it will take longer for them to reach a higher level.
Q. Are the spirits connected to us all the time?
A. Here in the physical world, your family and friends aren’t around you 24/7, but when there’s a crisis or emergency, they’re there when you need them. Well, it’s just the same way with your family and friends on the Other-Side. They often know what’s going on in your life and try to let you know they are there for you, whether it’s for love, guidance, hope, or even inspiration. I’m convinced that few people actually realize just how much energy it takes for those who have passed to lower their vibration and make a connection to this physical plane. As a result, it’s not something they’re going to want to be doing all the time. I believe that they have their own learning to do over there and need time to grow and progress, which is why those who have recently passed often need time before they’re ready to connect to the living.
Q. Why do spirits come back?
A. It’s simple — because they can! People on the Other-Side want to share our lives with us. Over the years I’ve been practicing as a medium, I must have done thousands of sittings where spirits have come through to acknowledge that they were around their loved ones during difficult times, and by doing so, they were able to lend their support and strength. Of course, they don’t just visit when the going gets tough. By the same token, I often receive evidence that spirits were there to see their children get married, or witness the birth of a baby or a daughter’s graduation. Holidays and special occasions are also big for them — they want to see us happy and like to take part in that joy. After all, if they were here physically, it goes without saying that they’d be present at these important events. Being in spirit doesn’t change the fact that they’re still our family and still care about us.
Q. Do you call the dead to you?
A. No, it really doesn’t work like that. Just like us, spirits have free will — mediums don’t have power over them. Most of the time, you’ll hear from the ones you’re hoping will come through with a message for you, but it’s rare that a medium will guarantee who’s going to come through. I’ve done many a reading with people who want to connect with a specific person, but end up hearing from someone they never expected. It isn’t a case of 1-800-Dial-the-Dead! Just such a situation happened recently when I sat with a client named Vivian who had great trouble walking, so I agreed to go to her home. I arrived, and she put me in her mother’s room, sat me in her chair, and even made sure her mom’s photos were all around me. Did she get her mother? You guessed it — no. However, a woman did come through for Vivian — a friend of hers. As I started to describe her to Vivian, she screamed, “What do you want?!” while looking up at the ceiling. It turned out that ever since Vivian had lost her mom, she’d been a bit of a recluse. In the reading, her friend had come through to say that she was with her and wished she’d visit her other friends. I don’t choose the spirits — they choose me and will often come through, not with the message you want to hear, but one you probably need to hear.
Q. Can they help from the Other-Side?
A. Just like those of us dwelling here, spirits can assist you, send you love and support, and even inspire you. However, it isn’t their job to tell you what to do or to do it for you. You have to make your own decisions and take responsibility for your choices and actions. They can’t interfere with the lessons you need to learn while you’re here. I remember a woman who was thrilled that her mother came through during our session. She wanted her mom to tell her if she should divorce her husband. Of course, the mother couldn’t make that decision for her because it wasn’t her job. The woman needed to take responsibility for her own life.
Q. Can you give us your views on suicide?
A. There’s no point running away from your problems, as there’s no real death, and sadly there’s no escape from your dilemmas or issues. One way or another, you will have to deal with it here — or over there. Doing the work I do, I’ve linked with many people who have taken their own lives, and I always get a very different feeling when I’m communicating with them as opposed to a natural death. They’re usually full of regret because they can see how those left behind are affected by their action. On the Other-Side, it’s quite possible that they may be shown the difference they could have made in their own lives as well as the lives of others, had they chosen to stay. When these spirits communicate with me, they rarely want to talk about how they passed, and they never link with me for very long. Usually someone who’s passed before them, such as a family member or friend, will come forward to help with the communication. I believe that these spirits need all their energy to work on themselves, and they’re going through a process of healing. I always tell people that prayer can help those on the Other-Side who have taken their own lives, and in this way, they can be assisted in their healing.
Q. Do people change when they cross over?
A. Each time I link with spirits, they usually appear to be exactly the same as when they were here. People seem to think that those who pass somehow turn into these exalted beings, yet they have the same personality and quirks on the Other-Side as they did before. They’re still upbeat, humorous, strict, or relaxed over there. However, I do believe that spirits progress over time, raise themselves to a higher level, and evolve. Often they will impress me with their personalities or how they acted here so that the person receiving the message can understand who it is. It’s a form of validation, which is a necessary part of the communication process. If someone was negative here, it’s likely that they’ll imprint that characteristic on me during the link, once again just to validate who they are. Have no fear. As souls, we all progress as we realize our faults, as well as whom we’ve hurt here, while we deal with all the decisions made in this lifetime. It’s almost as if we have a higher view of things when we cross over and can see why certain things transpired. It means a lot to my clients when I blend with the energy of their loved ones and start to describe and take on their personality or some of their individual habits. Since we’re all so different, getting a spirit’s personality can sometimes be the best evidence for a client.
Q. Can you still communicate with my parents even if they didn’t speak English?
A. Yes, it’s certainly possible. My type of mediumship works on a mental level, as I receive images and words through the power of thought, so there’s no language barrier. I’ve read for Ethiopians, Chinese, Latinos, Brazilians, Japanese, and many more. Each time I connect with someone who has lived in another country, I always feel their culture, comprehend their language, and understand their experiences. In a funny sort of way, it’s almost as if I’m actually there. Sometimes I may even come up with a word or saying in their language that I’ve never spoken before. One time I did a reading for a woman who was from Romania. Her mom came through, and she’d never spoken English in her life. When she connected with me, it was all in pictures and symbols. I wasn’t remotely surprised to find out that her mom was an artist and was a visual person. It was as if these pictures and symbols had words attached to them. In this case, the expression is true: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” When a spirit wants to get a message across — trust me when I say that they’ll do anything to make sure they get to do so!
Q. What happens if one of my parents reincarnates before I go over to the Other-Side? Does that mean one or both won’t be there when it’s my time to pass?
A. The best way I can describe this is an analogy that my colleague and medium Gordon Smith offered. Look at it this way. The soul is multidimensional. Imagine me as a computer, and with the computer is a hard-drive which is the oversoul. The oversoul is the bigger part of our soul. The program known as “John Holland” is currently playing, and when this program is finished (that is, when I pass away) the program will go back into the hard drive (oversoul), and another program from the hard drive will come forth and play out. So the program that is known as “John Holland,” the personality and all the memories that I lived here in that lifetime, will always be in the oversoul. So have no fear, the loved ones you knew and loved here — will always be on the Other-Side waiting to greet you. There are many levels to the soul, and as I’ve said many times before, the soul is multidimensional. All our lifetimes as a certain individual are stored in the oversoul, so a certain program should be fully accessible to a medium.
Q. What do they do on the Other-Side?
A. This is always such a great question! From the thousands of messages I’ve delivered throughout my career, some don’t really say what they’re doing, while others have no problem telling me what’s going on with them on the Other-Side and what they do with their time. Basically, they can do whatever they wish. Some choose to enjoy what they did here in their earthly life. I had an elderly woman come through who wanted to tell her that she was still gardening. I remember the look of sheer delight as they told me that she was a fantastic gardener and that working with the earth was her pride and joy. In another reading, this guy came through to tell me he was fishing, and in another message a group of young children who’d passed told me that they were still in some type of school. When some people pass over, they even go on to help those children who’ve recently passed adjust to being on the Other-Side. I’m always deeply moved by those stories. There are so many things they’ve told me they do on the Other-Side, but what I’ve noticed most is that what they were passionate about here seems to continue by choice in the Spirit World.
Q. Does it matter how long people have been on the Other-Side before they come through?
A. No, there is no set time limit. I’ve had spirit people come through many years after they’ve passed away — sometimes 30, 40, or even 50 years — or it could be as soon as one day. A friend of mine, Michael, passed away sadly due to complications from AIDS some years ago, and I remember being in his and his partner’s home for the memorial service. His partner had spent some time setting up a room upstairs beautifully, with a handsome picture of Michael with some of the amazing artworks that he had drawn during his lifetime. While I was saying my good-byes, I heard his voice speak softly in my ear: “John, please tell Amanda that I will do what I can from here to help her with money.” I stopped for a second, in slight disbelief, thinking that it was strange, wondering whether it was just my imagination playing tricks on me or if it really was a message from him. I was still grieving his loss, since he had passed just two days before.
After I had my own private conversation with him, remembering those gallery visits and happy times we’d shared, and how I was blessed to have him as a friend in my life, it was time to say my good-byes, and I knew I would see him again. I went downstairs, and of course, I just had to ask Amanda, “While you were upstairs, did you ask Michael something about money?” I knew it sounded very personal. She looked at me with a look of surprise and said as she put her head down, “Well . . . yes, John, I guess I was being selfish. I asked Michael if there was anything he could do to help me out financially over there; and if there was any guidance he could send me, it would be of great help now.” I was amazed that he’d answered her so quickly.
So in answer to this popular question, no, it doesn’t matter how long a person has been gone; it all depends on the people and how quickly they adjust to being in the Spirit World, and how fast they learn to work through a medium. They loved you here, they still love you there, and they want to help in any way they can.
Q. If someone loses their spouse and meets someone else, is the one who passed away angry or upset?
A. No. Most important, they want you to be happy. After all, you’re the one who’s still here and has to continue living in the physical world. When people come to see me for a private reading, having lost a spouse or a partner, it’s clear that they find it really hard to move on due to their bereavement. Some people even feel guilty for being alive, and some who have met someone else feel as if they’re cheating on their spouse or partner who passed away. Many times, those who loved you here and have passed away will orchestrate your meeting someone else. In a way, they become matchmakers in heaven!
So once again, it’s our bereavement or guilt that prevents us from moving on. Rest assured, they’re neither angry nor upset. It may just take a little time before you can even think about meeting someone else, and when you do, that person will never replace the one you loved before. It will be a new experience and a different kind of love, a love they want you to have.
Q. If someone was married more than once — or had more than one love in life — whom do they end up with when they pass over?
A. First, you have to realize that you’re thinking in terms of physical love when you ask this question. Those on the Other-Side are no longer constrained by the physical body and its needs. If someone was married more than once or had numerous loves, they can gravitate to whomever they want, or go back and join the soul group from which they came. It’s my belief that we reincarnate to this physical existence with the same people we’ve been with in numerous lifetimes, and that could encompass some of the loves and close relationships we’ve had here. I don’t feel that we have just one soul mate, as many people in your life could be your soul mates.
They could be your best friend, your partner, or even someone who you may have had a negative experience with. If there are those in your life who push you, challenge you, or make you reach far beyond your normal limitations, they’re probably helping you advance as a soul — they could, in fact, be soul mates.
Q. If there’s someone you fought with, or whom you were angry with, and they passed away before you had the chance to forgive them for what happened, how do you deal with this?
A. I get this question almost every time I do a lecture. Many people have had this happen to them. They might have been fighting with someone and said hurtful things to the person before he passed, or that person said hurtful things to you. These spirits always come through with forgiveness and ask for forgiveness themselves. Believe me when I say that they know just by your thoughts that you’ve forgiven them and you love them. It’s as though they have a higher view of things once they pass over and, as a result, they can see that they were in the wrong all along. Have no fear that your loved ones care for you, and that they’ve let go of any resentment or anger. Love is eternal, and the love you have for them as well as the love they have for you is equally eternal. That is what they take with them.
Q. If I have a sitting with a medium and no one comes through, does that mean that no one is there or they don’t love me?
A. Absolutely not! I’ve had sittings myself with other mediums, and some people whom I was close to here haven’t come through for me. I believe they have their own lives over there, and often they’re off doing their own thing. Maybe some choose to progress quickly and further, and while they will always love you, they’re no longer attached to this plane of existence. You could be getting signs from them, and you may not even recognize the signs and signals they’re sending. In the Spirit World, they don’t measure time as we do here, so they may still come through for you at a later date, or they may come through when you really need it.
One time I did a sitting for a woman, and no one came through at all. I told her that it didn’t mean they didn’t love her, and maybe it just wasn’t the right time. We decided to try again in six months. When she came back, it transpired that in those months she’d lost someone quite close to her, and somehow those in the Spirit World held back in the last sitting because it was simply not the right time. This sitting was the one she really needed, with the most recent person coming through. It may not always be the case, but give them a chance; let them know that you’re open to a reading and that you’re ready, because they take their cues from you. If they know that you’re still very emotional, and you may not be ready for a reading and hearing from them, then they’re more than likely going to hold back. No matter what the reason, remember they do in fact love you and will do anything they can to let you know it.
Q. Are guides and angels the same thing?
A. My experience and personal belief is that a spirit guide has lived at some time or another on Earth in a physical body, while an angel has never had a physical incarnation. Every medium I know has one or more guides who work with them — some are constant, and some change during the medium’s life, but each has their own unique influence over the development of the medium’s gifts. As I’ve already mentioned, I have three of them. Many ordinary people have these guides — it’s not just limited to mediums. They may show themselves in many forms, such as a Franciscan monk, an indigenous person, an ancient Egyptian, or even a child. I believe that they choose to show themselves in these familiar forms for our benefit. I feel that too many people place responsibility on these guides and expect them to do the person’s work. Guides are here to assist us, not make decisions for us. Angels are in a different category from guides — they’re “messengers of God.”
Thousands of people from different cultures have had experiences with these beings. According to an ancient Jewish tradition, angels were the first intelligent beings, created by God to help sustain life and assist you in all areas of your life. Have you ever said to yourself, How did I get out of that situation safely? It must have been luck. Well, luck may have played a part in it, but it’s more than likely that you had a little angelic assistance. I remember being in a parking garage in Los Angeles once, and I was driving up a steep ramp. Another car came flying over that ramp in the opposite direction, coming right at me with lightning speed. All of a sudden, my car stalled right in its tracks. Had I continued to drive, I would have hit the approaching car head on, but because my car stopped so suddenly, the other vehicle had room to avoid me. Was it a random act of luck that my car stalled at that precise moment, or did I have a little Divine help? I think I know the answer to that one.
Q. How can I be more spiritual?
A. In a way, I tend to answer this in all my books. It’s one of my constant themes, and forms a major part of my teachings. Being spiritual is more than just taking a workshop or reading a book —it’s a state of mind and being. How we live, what and how we think, how we love ourselves as well as others, and how we can help others in need is all part of being spiritual. We’re always given the opportunity to raise our vibration to a higher level simply through our actions. So many people are trying to have spiritual experiences when the truth is simple: we’re spiritual beings trying to have human experiences. Acts of unconditional love and compassion are the highest forms of “being spiritual.” Each and every one of us is capable of such wonderful and beautiful things. We can achieve so much with our time here, so let’s embrace it!
A. If someone hurt you in this life, I believe that when that person passes all their actions good and bad will be reviewed by them and they now have to experience all the good and bad that they did to the people here.
Many people come through asking for forgiveness or they let me know they are taking responsibility for their actions for the hurt they may have caused here. I feel there is free will on the Other-Side and you can be with whoever you want to be. You are not forced to meet anyone that you do not want to have contact with. In all my years of experience people come through with people that they have loved in this life. Never has a spirit ever said to me that they were with someone that caused them any hurt or pain while they were here.
If you would like to ask a question which you feel would be helpful to other readers, please send your question in an email to email@example.com with subject line text reading:
“Question for John's FAQ section”