Medium Rebecca Rosen helped me connect to my dead relatives and find my spirit guides

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In the hours before my coveted appointment with Rebecca Rosen, a local medium and author with a years-long waiting list, I was in full-fledged panic-turned-tantrum mode. Though I had gleefully picked up the chance to get a once-in-a-lifetime reading with Rosen weeks earlier, that excitement had worn off by the time the date approached. Frankly, I didn't want to mess with my dead relatives; it seemed inappropriate. I talk to them all the time on my own through prayer and meditation and late-night freakouts, but I had never really thought about them talking back: It was a one-way street, and I was fine with that. (We control freaks see life this way.)

See also: Rebecca Rosen on fulfilling your divine purpose and looking to the dead for guidance

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Erica Sodos gets metaphysical at the Mercury Cafe

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All photos by Mauricio Rocha
Abracadabra: She's out of the box with a wand of her own. Erica Sodos is a magician, psychic entertainer and motivational speaker currently in residence at the Mercury Cafe. In advance of her May 31 show there, The Magic Within: Psychic Explorations in Telepathy and Empathy, we chatted with Sodos to learn what motivates her magic.

See also: Tonight: Magician and enchantress Erica Sodos magically enchants at the Mercury Cafe

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James Mhoon on Focus on the Family's new documentary and God's perfect design for family

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Irreplaceable
Tim Sisarich stars in Focus on the Family's new documentary, Irreplaceable.
Does God exist and, if so, has he provided humanity with a perfect design for family structure? James Mhoon thinks so. As vice president of Content Development and Integration for the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, he leads the organization's charge to spread the word about the importance of the "good, old-fashioned traditional family."

The organization's latest project, Irreplaceable, is a documentary that tells the story of Tim Sisarich, who leaves his wife and children in New Zealand to travel the world seeking out the best models of parenthood. He interviews a carefully curated slew of sociologists, self-proclaimed feminists and religious scholars. After encountering these rather homogenous scholars who believe in the essential differences between men and women, the superiority of heterosexual marriage and the necessity of fatherhood, Sisarich adopts the beliefs of the funding organization and reconciles with his own absentee dad.

In advance of May 6 screenings of Irreplaceable, Westword spoke with Mhoon about the documentary and his work at Focus on the Family.

See also: Sister Helen Prejean fights the death penalty with opera


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The four most cannabis-unfriendly events this 4/20 weekend

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Ludlow photograph from the Pueblo History Museum
While 4/20 is celebrated by stoners worldwide, Coloradans do it better than anybody else: A day of unity and political activism where participants can spend their every waking moment consuming cannabis is hard to beat, holiday-wise. But April 20 this year also happens to be Easter Sunday and the fifth night of Passover. While kicking off your private seder with a kush Kiddush, or hunting for medible-stuffed Easter eggs while gorging on Peeps and Cadbury cremes with a group of fellow adult stoners, are both fine ways to celebrate this unique confluence of holidays, most official celebrations this weekend are either religious or kid-centric in nature. As such, there will be no kind of any kind encouraged. While no one can prevent you from attending any of these events under the influence, if you show up red-eyed and reeking, be prepared for askance glances from concerned parents and clergy -- particularly if you keep giggling at the phrase "askance glances."

See also: William Breathes's top picks for the 4/20 holi-daze

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Andy Thomas on Hell is in New Jersey, Etgar Keret and Shel Silverstein

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Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a bi-weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

After a brief hiatus, the Westword Book Club is back to conclude our series chronicling the reading habits of Denver area Andys. This week's Andy is Andy Thomas, a local musician and gadabout who recently self-published his debut novel, Hell is in New Jersey, which takes place in a gift shop on the border of Hell. He's also been the vocalist and guitarist of Tin Horn Prayer and released a solo album featuring songs inspired by Coen Brothers films called Andy Thomas' Dust Heart. Thomas plays drums for The Knew, too, which will be performing at the Snowball Music Festival at Sports Authority Stadium April 4 through April 6.

See also: Comedian Andrew Orvedahl on JG Ballard, George Saunders and airport books

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Denver Art Museum brings art and yoga together with "Union with the Divine"

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Denverartmuseum.org
After taking a closer look at the art housed on the fifth floor of the Denver Art Museum, the Asian Art Association and museum planners started thinking. These galleries, home to the DAM's Asian and Indian folk art collections, contained many figures in yoga poses -- feet placed just so, hands in positions of intention. This observation led to the creation of "Union with the Divine: Art History of Yoga," set for Wednesday, March 12 -- a combination tour, lecture and yoga class based on the art.

See also: Fallen yoga guru John Friend goes to the mat with a new technique

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Pura Vida's Sunday Afternoon Meltdown invites yogis to decompress and meditate in style

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Pura Vida in Cherry Creek North is opening its doors to the public for the first time ever this weekend, when it will host the inaugural edition of its new program, Sunday Afternoon Meltdown. The club invites yogis of all levels to wind down and recharge with a combination yoga class, guided meditation and detoxifying experience.

"We really wanted to bring in something that would allow people to take their practice deeper, whether they were doing yoga or workouts or whatever the case may be," says general manager Keith Moore. "We wanted to create a space that really gets into the mindfulness component."

See also: Fallen yoga guru John Friend goes to the mat with a new technique

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Julie Golden on Vagilantes, David Foster Wallace and the injury that nearly robbed her of reading

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Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Julie Golden is a novelist, political activist, stained-glass artist and hula-hoop hobbyist who lives in Boulder. She is also a woman who has triumphed over unimaginable hardships with tremendous grace and a renewed vigor for life, a woman whose compassion is evident in everything she does. Her novel Vagilantes is a twist-filled narrative that focuses on a group of women abuse survivors and the pedophiles who keep getting mysteriously murdered. We met up with Golden this week to discuss vigilante justice against pedophiles, writing like David Foster Wallace, and a brain injury that nearly took away her ability to read.

See also: Author Shannon Baker on Hopi culture, Barbara Kingsolver and fake yellow snow


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Author Shannon Baker on Hopi culture, Barbara Kingsolver and fake yellow snow

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Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Shannon Baker is a mystery writer who lives in the Boulder area. Her novels, such as Tainted Mountain, combine the nervy perspective of Nora Abbott, Baker's protagonist, with the unique milieu of politically embattled sacred tribal lands. Broken Trust, Baker's next entry in the Nora Abbot mystery series, is set in Boulder and scheduled to be published by Midnight Ink Publications in March 2014. Westword caught up with Baker to discuss participating in writer's groups, Hopi tribal culture and fake yellow snow.

See also: Author Mario Acevedo discusses his literary influences, Rocky Flats and writing about dogs


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Rebecca Rosen on fulfilling your divine purpose and looking to the dead for guidance

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What helped Rebecca Rosen out of her deep depression wasn't Zoloft or visits to a therapist. It was guidance from her dead grandmother. The then-college student prayed for help and started communicating with the beyond, which led her to write her first book and heal herself. Since then, Rosen has made a career out of speaking with those who have passed on, doing private readings (for which her wait list is eight years long) and penning her newest book, Awaken the Spirit Within: 10 Steps to Ignite Your Life and Fulfill Your Divine Purpose. The Denver medium will talk about her new book, lead a guided meditation and offer audience readings at 7 p.m. September 17 at the Soiled Dove, a venue she recently sold out; tickets, $35, are available online. In advance of this event, we spoke with the psychic about fulfilling your divine purpose and looking to the dead for guidance.

See also: Reverend Charles Cox on mediumship, White House seances and talking to the dead

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