Today I have the pleasure of speaking with John Culbertson, from http://www.mysticjohnculbertson.com/
John wears many hats and teaches New Thought philosophy, western occultism, psychic development, divination skills, solitary Wicca, and interfaith theology.
He has also been doing tarot, numerology, and astrology readings for over 20 years!
That being said, let's get started!
John, thank you SO very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me! I know you said you had to set some time aside specifically for this, so please know it means the world to me! 🙂
Tell us about yourself, please! (The more info, the better!)
I was born and raised in St. Joseph, Missouri, before going away to college in Cedar Rapids, IA.
As a young boy growing up in a haunted house, I had many experiences with what some would call the supernatural or paranormal. My great-grandmother would also tell me stories about other family members who could work magick and "just make things happen." She told me stories about the "shadow people" and other folklore that was part of our family's history.
I went to Catholic schools my entire life, and my main goal growing up was to become a Roman Catholic Priest. I was fortunate enough to have a Priest that told me I needed to really explore what else was out there before making that sort of commitment. So I did. I studied many different religions and philosophical belief systems during and after college.
I majored in music vocal performance before switching to the psychology of human behavior. I minored in philosophy and religious studies. I studied for a master's in mental health counseling after my bachelor's.Still, financing was limited, so I never completed the degree.
When I finished college, I moved to Port Charlotte, FL, and began working and studying at a relatively well-known New Age Book Store and School.
In my life, I have studied life coaching, neuro-linguistic programming, shamanism, Wicca, remote viewing and influencing, spiritual counseling and direction, and almost every area of metaphysical psychology and philosophy, including the law of attraction and other various esoteric and hermetic principles.
Editors Note: See John's Video on the Law Of Attraction Below!
Academically I hold a bachelor's in the psychology of human behavior, a bachelor's in metaphysical sciences, a master's in metaphysical sciences, and I am working on a Ph.D. in spiritual counseling. I also am certified as a chaplain, life coach, Reiki master, advanced psychic development teacher, hypnotist, shamanic practitioner, metaphysical practitioner, astrologer, tarot reader, and numerologist. I am ordained
as a metaphysical minister and was previously ordained as a Christian minister. I am also a Wiccan Priest.
In my professional practice, I primarily do "psychic" tarot readings and do quite a bit of one-on-one and group mentoring and spiritual counseling. Teaching and mentoring are my favorite things to do as I much prefer people to know how to have their own personal connection with the Divine instead of thinking they have to go through me or any other person to get it.
I enjoy horror movies and documentaries, classical music, lounge music, playing video games and tabletop role-playing games as well as board games, hiking, camping, reading books, spending time with my wife and our two cats, theme parks and hotels, and hosting foreign exchange students from another country for an academic year.
In other words, I am a pretty regular geeky guy who just loves to learn all that I can about the mysteries of our universe. For me, that will certainly never stop while I am in this physical world.
What is a mystic? Is that just a fancy word for psychic? 🙂
Funny! That made me chuckle.
No, a mystic is someone who explores and studies all aspects of spirituality. It's someone who points out the fact that God (or whatever name you use for God ) is everywhere (even in you!) and is always at work. It is someone compassionate, tolerant in their views, studious, and typically well-loved by others. A mystic seeks out a connection with God – and they have personal experience with that connection.
That personal experience may involve psychic abilities (clairvoyant visions, clairaudient messages, clairsentient or empathic feelings, telepathy, etc.…). Still, those are just a byproduct of the studies, the spiritual exploration, and the direct personal experiences.
When did you first realize you had special abilities?
I don't think of myself as having special abilities. What I do, I can teach ANYONE to do. I can lead a person to discover and have that direct personal connection with God. I can teach a person to find their "psychic" abilities, harness them, and use them for their own and the benefit of others. I can help a person to love and heal themselves and others. I can teach a person to connect with their spiritual guides and angels.
However, if you're asking when did I have my first "spiritual experience," – well, that was when I was a young boy growing up in Missouri. I grew up in what today would be deemed an "abusive" environment. I think many people develop psychic abilities in such environments. Knowing how someone feels and what to say and when to say it to avoid the abuse….
Anyway, I would lock myself in my bedroom as a child, and there I would pray. As I prayed, I had experiences with angelic beings. That's what started me on this journey. That inspired me to want to learn and read more, and so I did.
When did you know that it was your calling, and what inspired you to start your business?
Gosh, there are two phases to this question.
First, I started doing readings when I was 16 years old, that's now over 25 years ago. At the time, I didn't have the first idea that it would one day turn into a profession. I got serious about doing readings during college and after I had finished my bachelor's in psychology. I then moved to Florida and joined the staff of the now famous New Age Bookstore Starchild.
Starchild, which no longer exists, was where John Edward studied with Sandy Anastasi and John Maerz. They were/are perhaps two of the best psychic development, tarot, and astrology teachers any student could ask to work with.
Here I would meet a whole cast of characters that I would learn from and be inspired by. Including a Kung Fu Master (Ed Hicks), a spirit medium from the spiritualist tradition (Jason Oliver), a shaman (Mic McManus), an oriental medicine, and a feng shui expert (Nicole Noles), and several others! That's not counting the special guest teachers that would sometimes pass-through for a short time, such as John Edward, Christopher Penczak, Ghost Hunters, and other famous mediums and psychics, etc.
I laugh now because my time at Starchild was seriously like being at a real-life Hogwarts school!
I am so thankful for my time there, as it gave me the best foundational skills in metaphysics that anyone could ask for…. Here I balanced being a front desk clerk, web designer, store caretaker, teacher, student, and reader. In some ways, I was living a dream that only a few people could ever imagine living.
I would eventually buy and own the store but have to close it a few years later. After the store closed, I was genuinely lost and heartbroken. I mean, really lost. I was newly married, which helped, but when I closed Starchild, I lost my identity in many ways. I lost my sense of purpose.
That brings me to phase two.
I started seeking out new educational opportunities in an attempt to fill the void. Life coaching, NLP, Wicca, Shamanism, Paganism, Metaphysical Ministry, I even spent time studying as a Christian Minister! There was an inner battle going on within me – I struggled to find "my calling" and knowing what was suitable for me. To understand what is right for you, to know your truth, is very special and radically
different from being spoon-fed and told what your truth has to be.
It wouldn't be until years later, after much study, that I would work privately with Christopher Penczak and John Mabry. In intensely studying their works and speaking with them in that one-on-one fashion, I finally learned to synthesis everything.
So my business started when I started working at Starchild, but it has changed tremendously over the years. The company I run today is not the same one I ran back in the early 2000s. It has grown, and I've found my own groove, so to speak. That's been empowering to say the least.
What is the most popular type of reading with customers?
My psychic tarot readings will always be my most popular type of reading. It combines tarot, astrology, numerology, channeling, and spiritual counseling in one half-hour session. Some clients do hour sessions, but most find the half-hour to be sufficient. People prefer this because it feels safer to them and can be done in less time than ongoing spiritual counseling or mentoring.
I think ongoing spiritual counseling is more beneficial, but every person must decide for themselves what they need. The great thing about ongoing spiritual counseling is that a deep relationship is formed between the person I'm working with and me. Of course, that's not to say I haven't developed those deep relationships through my psychic tarot readings – some people come back to me weekly to get them done. It's
just if a person wants to transform their life, it's going to happen because of spiritual counseling, not because of being told what appears to be coming up in their future. People need to understand and realize they have more control over their future than they give themselves credit for.
So what is spiritual counseling?
It's working one on one with me to explore your thoughts and feelings and your past so that you can heal from it. It's also about you learning to form a direct and personal connection to the Higher Power – by whatever name you choose to call it.
It's using both of these to determine where you want to take life and how you want to change life for the better. Once all that is done, it's about continued encouragement and insight along the way to embrace those changes.
You're an ordained metaphysical minister. Can you tell us more about what that is and means, please?
A metaphysical minister is, first and foremost, one who has studied interfaith theology. I.E., they have examined the majority of World religions. In these studies, they learn to see and focus on the similarities between faiths. This helps them to better serve the people they work with.
The word metaphysics, however, means different things to different
On the one hand, it's the academic study of a specific branch of philosophy. This branch of philosophy dives deep into the fundamental nature of reality and what that is and means.
On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly known as an exploration of the many systems of belief that can be found in Eastern and Western societies. It deals with those things which are beyond (meta) the physical world.
Examples would include Yoga, Chakras, Ceremonial Magick, Meditation, Feng Shui, Channeling, Mediumship, Spirit Guides, tarot, astrology, angels, Qabalah, psychic abilities, etc., etc., etc.
The metaphysical minister has studied most of these things in-depth, along with interfaith theology and the nature and construction of ritual.
So yes, I can perform the traditional minister function of doing marriages, funerals, and baptisms. I also can perform purification rituals, various blessings, rites of initiation, divorce rituals, full moon ceremonies, and even exorcisms. Likewise, I can do "Sunday Services/Celebrations" as well as other minister functions (visiting
prisons, hospitals, hospices, and engaging in various types of religious/spiritual-based counseling for individuals, couples, and families).
How have things changed for you during the pandemic, and how have you adjusted?
A little, but not much. I stopped seeing in-person clients and teaching in-person classes and opted to do everything via phone or Zoom video conferencing. My business has grown expediently because of these changes. I should point out that I have always done most of my business over the phone and through email. What I was missing the most was teaching classes. Zoom solved that problem.
It isn't the same, but it does work. I look forward to being able to teach and read in person again very soon.
What do you love the most about what you do?
I love seeing people get excited when they can have personal experiences with the Divine or discover that they are way more "psychic" than they think. I get excited when someone tells me they have read an article or book that I wrote or heard me speak or teach somewhere. I love seeing people light up as they learn and grow spiritually. I love when people finally understand the saying, "Your spiritual path may not be my spiritual path, but that doesn't mean your spiritual path is wrong."
Any final words of wisdom or parting thoughts for our readers in these trying times?
One fundamental metaphysical principle is the idea that nothing lasts forever. Our bodies don't last forever. Physical life does not last forever. The house you bought doesn't last forever. Literally, nothing lasts forever. Not even our world will last forever.
While this may seem bleak, it isn't meant to be. When you truly understand that nothing lasts forever, you become so grateful for what is, and you bask in each moment of bliss that life presents you. You stop worrying about the bad things because you know that they, too, won't last forever. Instead, you learn to focus on the present and be the best you can be in the present. Know and hope it influences others to do the same. This leads to the type of change so many want, but so few know how to achieve.
In response to the pandemic, I know it won't last forever. Yes, life may have changed, but this, too, will eventually be behind us. That doesn't mean for many, there won't be pain and grief – there certainly will be, but that's part of this journey called life too. Life was never meant to be perfect and will always have its challenges, ups, and downs. All human beings will experience pain and grief at various points in their
life. The question is, how will we use that pain and grief as a catalyst for the next part of our spiritual and life journey? Do we let it overcome us and hold us imprisoned? Or do we take it and use it to propel ourselves forward, aspiring to be even more significant and better than we were?
As I always like to say to my students – this is food for thought only.
You must come to your own conclusions.
Editors Final Comments:
John, this has been AMAZING - you also hold the record for our longest interview yet, so thank you VERY much for opening up and sharing so much!
You can learn more about John at his website here: http://www.mysticjohnculbertson.com/