Bethel author Melanie Nelson Barnum has just had her first book published. The Book of Psychic Symbols was published by Llewellyn Publishers, arguably the largest and most important publisher of metaphysical books.
Melanie told us the story of getting her book published, and explained some of the subjects her book covers.
The first printing has just been shipped and will soon be found at Byrd’s Books.
How long did it take you to write the book? And how were you able to get the book published by Llewellyn?
I started writing the book a few years ago. It was a process. I worked with the publisher, they would make suggestions, but I made all of the changes. Everything in the book was written by me.
It’s the big publisher for this genre, so I am very excited. I have a few books I have been working on. Originally, I had submitted Develop your Intuition, but they told me the market was flooded with books on that subject. But they said they loved the chapter on Psychic symbols and asked if I could do it as a book.
Are you a professional psychic?
I am a psychic, intuitive, and I do hypnosis. I have an office in Ridgefield. I have done a ton of fairs, and I read tarot cards. If you are a good psychic, you have tools. When I work, I’ll use cards, a pendulum, psychometry, which is to hold something that belongs to somebody. If people are closed, you know, sitting back, arms folded across their chest, I may take out the tarot because it opens them up.
How can people recognize psychic symbols?
Psychic symbols are everywhere. Everyone recognizes dragon flies as a symbol; they are drawn to them because they are mystical. People tend to gravitate towards certain things. Animals, like bears have a protective energy, and sometimes people are over-BEARing. You can even take something as simple as a stop sign. You may have to make changes in your life and you aren’t sure what to do. The stop sign may have a sudden meaning for you, STOP what you are doing.
But how do recognize that the stop sign is a psychic symbol?
I talk a lot about that in the book; how to recognize an actual sign as a psychic communication. It has to do with your intuition, the ability to open the mind to see. But it actually comes from spirit guides; they could be your ancestors, ascendant masters, angels. Personally my experience has been that your guides are your ancestors.
Many cultures believe that we are guided by our ancestors.
You have different types of guides, and it has to do with your own personality. They will send the signs in a way that you can understand them. So if you are normally more open and gregarious, they will come to you like that.
Is being psychic a spiritual gift? What is the difference between spirituality and religion? Is there any conflict between the two?
People are becoming more spiritual, it’s all about energy, and that we can adjust and change. In the book I talked about manifesting, and how we can manifest what we want in life. You may have somebody who wants to make another $200 dollars a week, but they believe that they can’t do that unless they go out and get a job. But there are so many other ways to make it happen. You have to be open to opportunities.
What is the difference between positive thinking and manifesting?
With positive thinking, you may say, I am beautiful. Manifesting, you want to create something to bring something into your life that you don’t already possess. Positive thinking is Step 1 on the manifest scale, but it is just not that simple.
With negative thinking, you create that kind of energy and put it out there. Sometimes you’re drawn to negative signs. If you are living in a negative way, you are going to notice the dirt in the road rather than the flowers in the trees, you are going to notice the crow pecking the dead animal in the road rather than the love doves in the trees.
The energy you bring into your life is a choice, and a lot of people don’t understand that, but you have a choice. You really do. Manifesting is one way to bring good energy into your life.
You know, some of this may be hard for some people to believe. Do you worry about criticism?
One of the most rewarding things my husband said to me was, “I am so proud of you. You work hard, and you help people. And you do something many people don’t believe in.”
I am prepared for negative comments. I live in a town filled with people who go to church and they don’t necessarily believe in what I do.
Does one conflict with the other? Can’t one go to church and believe in psychics?
Religion and spirituality go hand in hand. Some people think that in order to talk to God you have to have a go between, but you can do it yourself. A lot of people weren’t brought up with that, but you don't need to go to church to be spiritual.
The church says the same thing I do; there is more out there. There is a God, heaven and an afterlife, and I am saying the same thing. I don’t care if you call it heaven, or Utopia, the Other side, or the veil. There is something going on beyond our world.
There is a universe that is helping to shape our destiny, and that is what the church calls God, but it is also the energy all around us. I am not saying you have to come to my house to believe in it, and you can go to church and believe in this, too. If you have something that gives you hope, faith and makes you feel more positive, that there is more than the daily drudgery of life, then more power to you.
What is the constant between spirituality and the religion?
Love is what its all about. It’s what we are all here to learn about, to develop. The word of God is about Love, and it doesn't have to be either/or. You can go to church and be intuitive. It’s in my religious chapter.
What about the psychic symbols? Any conflict there?
The thing is, all religions have symbolic and iconic symbols, like the cross and praying hands.
How can people recognize a sign, and how can they know what it means?
It is an intuitive thing. In the back of the book there are over 500 symbols, but you can even have personal symbols, that have special meaning for you. They are symbols that would be important to you, and the things you may see are entirely different than what I see.
How do you become intuitive? How do you open yourself up to intuition and how do you allow that to come through?
I don’t think you have to sit there and meditate, with your hands on your knees, and saying Om in order to connect, but you have to settle yourself and be quiet. Meditation doesn’t have to be formal, some people vacuum to meditate. Not me. But it is about doing something so that nothing else needs your attention.
It’s like vision quests, where the only thing you do for three days is move all of the rocks from one pile to the next, and when you are done, moving them back. It’s the mindless activity that lets you mind be free to hear, right?
Yes, so you are able to have that stream of thoughts.
Can anyone really become psychic?
You have to believe it can happen. You have to have faith that things can change, and there can be a difference, or that the more things can be brought to you. Until you believe it works, you aren't going to be able to manifest anything.
Melanie Nelson Barnum grew up and attended schools in Wilton and Norwalk. Her husband, Tom Barnum is related to Bethel’s PT Barnum, and goes back six generations in the are. You can learn more about the book and about Melanie from her website,