Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Who hasn't, even just for fun, consulted a psychic and asked about your love life? Is my boyfriend going to propose? What about the one who got away? Who's my soulmate? Will I ever meet The One? Yeah, we've been there.
In honor of Weddings Week here at Racked, we spoke with Jennifer Wallens, right, a finalist in the Ukrainian-Russian reality show Battle of the Psychics: War of the Worlds and a practicing psychic medium for more than 20 years. Wallens is a trained wetlands biologist and has worked as an environmental consultant for more than 20 years.
Check out our Q&A with Wallens, after the jump. She told us about her own experiences, her past lives, gave us relationship advice, told us what people ask her in readings, and dished on whether or not she believes that soulmates exist—and she told us what a psychic sees/feels when determining whether someone's found The One.
Racked: You mentioned you'd been married a few times. What was your first husband like?
Wallens: I was married for the first time when when I was 21—I was in the middle of finishing college and had three children right off the bat. All my friends waited until they finished college, so I was kind of the first one. I had my daughter, my second child, during final exams. I don't know why I've kind of done things the hard way—I guess I kind of like a challenge.
My first husband and I were married for seven years, had three wonderful kids, and a very positive experience—we're friends now.
When you marry really young, you don't really know yourself and you don't really know what kind of person would be the most complementary to you—someone you can grow old with. Some people, they hit the jackpot, but most of the time, it's difficult when you marry that young.
Racked: What do you say to people who come to you asking when they'll meet their soulmate or life partner?
Wallens: It depends on the person. Sometimes, I think it's kind of an agreement made before we come into this life—that's we're going to meet and we're going to marry and we're going to work on these issues together. Other people come into this life saying, "Alright, I need to work out this karmic issue with this person, I know we won't remain married, and then I'll go off and do this and this and this." During a reading, these issues come up—like, you were supposed to be with this person to learn compassion or unconditional live, but just because you love someone doesn't mean it will work out in the relationship.
Racked: How has this played out in your own relationships? Were you able to predict the end of your first marriage before it happened? What about your second husband?
Wallens: I've gone into a past life and realized that I'd made an agreement to watch out for other people, so I married him [second husband] and helped him through alcoholism. I saw that in a past life and it made me realize that I was supposed to help him and get him on the right track. It didn't work out in the marriage.
I think, in a previous life, I was his older brother—I realized that about a year after I was divorced from this gentleman. It was somebody I wasn't even really attracted to, but I needed to be with him, I needed to help him. I kept questioning why I would do such a thing, because it didn't fit with my normal everyday life. He was successful, well-off, but the other issue bothered me to a point that when we were divorced, I though, why would I have done this to myself.
In a past life regression I discovered I was a Tibetan monk and he was my younger brother. He wasn't chosen to go to the monastery and got into a lot of trouble, had identity issues and things like that. I was shocked when I came out of this regression and learned all this. During this lifetime, I was always trying to help him. It was a repeat performance.
What I realized when I saw this past life was that I really could have done this just as a friend. I should have kept it that way. There are too many issues once you go into a marriage. But it explained a lot of his behavior and different things that kept going on.
I feel that every relationship you go into isn't a failure or success. As long as you learn something, stop beating yourself up after divorce.
Racked: In hindsight, were there psychic red flags along the way that you didn't pay attention to?
Wallens: Oh yes. Probably the thing I've learned is that from now on I won't ever ignore those intuitions, those first impressions. When you meet someone, and you have a feeling in the pit of your stomach, something's not right.
The first time I saw him, he hadn't seen me yet—it was a blind date and I all I wanted to do was turn and run. I told myself, don't be rude, you need to go and do this. I guess I needed to learn this lesson, so I ignored a lot of intuitive hits. If you meet someone and something just feels a little weird, grab those things and make them important. Don't just discard them or throw them under the rug.
Even with the last relationship I was in, all the warning signs were there. I even did a reading for a woman where I saw, during the reading, that she was going to be with my then-boyfriend.
I've learned my lesson.
Racked: Taking into account your own relationship history and experiences, do you believe that there is such a thing as a soulmate?
Wallens: Actually, I do believe that there are people out there—and I think there's more than one person that can be a soulmate, that are connected to us, and, more than likely, we've had relationships with them in past lives.
Sometimes life is written and we agree that we want to meet that soulmate in that lifetime and we want to experience children, as the case may be. Some lives, we have decided that we want to go that life alone, or that we want to experience this just so our soul will grow and learn forgiveness, compassion, or unconditional love.
Racked: What happened after your second marriage ended?
Wallens: So I met someone at work. It was one fo those, he's-so-gorgous-I-couldn't-even-think-when-he-walked-by things. We married within and year and we were married less than a year. It was one of those deals where I felt like I was in the mode to save somebody—save them from mental illness, it turned out, and different issues. I was still too young to realize, and I'd never been exposed to somebody who had a mental illness—just like I had never been exposed to anyone who had alcoholism as a problem.
I think, in my life, I really wanted to experience different types of relationships and different men, so I could better understand and better help other people.
Racked: Did you have any past life experiences with your last marriage?
Wallens: When I did [the Tibetan monk regression], I wrote down a year and I think it was several hundred years ago. But I do have memories of a past life as a World War II soldier where I save a French woman and her children.
Our souls have decided to learn in many different lifetimes And, as we die and go on, our souls are always there and have experiences to draw on.
I think there are a lot of women and men who have this sensitive nature—they're ultra-sensitive and want to help people, putting other people ahead of themselves. I think one of the lessons you need to learn is how much of yourself do you give before you try to replenish yourself. It's a learning curve and I think there are a lot of people on that same path.
Racked: What are some things you're noticing in your readings?
Wallens: I think everybody is born with psychic abilities intact—babies and children are able to sense the other world, the other dimensions. And as we get older, we're blocking that out and are living in the third dimension. I think, as the years go on, and with the things that go on around us, we need to keep that psychic ability at the forefront. It can only help make this world a more peaceful and loving place for everybody.
Another thing I've noticed with all the readings I do is that they're noticing people can't hide their true selves these days. If they have some personality trait, it's all showing itself. People are being found out. It's a good thing—a lot of people are going through a lot of hurt and relationships are failing. If you look at is as getting rid of things that don't serve you anymore, you'll attract better people.
Racked: What are some of the most popular relationship question you get asked in readings?
Wallens: Are they cheating on me—sometimes I'm given that information and sometimes I'm not, so sometimes I get it and sometimes I don't. And is he the perfect match for me. Sometimes I do actually see that.
Racked: What does that look like or feel like, when you can see that they're with their soulmate?
Wallens: Sometimes I'll feel this overwhelming sense of love and affection—a long-lasting feeling. Sometimes I can just tell when I feel the energy of that person, that I'm talking to another person, and I just know. There's clairsentience and clairvoyance and sometimes it all comes together at once—that this is the person for this person. Or I'll just know that this person is not.
I wish I could explain it better. It's really hard to say how—I can also hear it. I can hear information, hear a name, a date, and I'll just know. And I'm always blown away.
Racked: You've traveled extensively—how does the idea of a soulmate or The One play out in cultures where divorce is forbidden and marriages are arranged?
Wallens: It depends on the culture. I do believe we have a plan—that it's preordained that we want to experience certain things. If you want to experience a lifetime of marriage and experience being Hindu, for example. I think that's the route.
Marriage is viewed differently in different cultures, and I really think we do choose where we're going to be born. We also like to be in different soul groups. Several people in our family circle have been reincarnated with each other over and over again. They want to experience different things with each other as they learn and grow—and I think marriage is one of those things.
I think marriage is a wonderful institution and I think it helps people grow closer. It's a great vehicle for learning compassion, unconditional love, and being there no matter what. But I think that the lessons learned from a marriage that ends can be just as powerful an experience as a "to death-do us part" marriage.
· Jennifer Wallens [Official Site]
· All Weddings Week posts [Racked]