My grandmother on my mother’s side had always joked about moving to New York with her sister, according to my aunt. What once may have been the pinnacle of their immigration dreams became something of a running joke to the Galway sisters the longer they remained in Birmingham, England, “saving up for their passage to the Big Apple” while working and raising their families amidst the vibrant Birmingham Irish community.
It came as no surprise then, just a few minutes into my conversation with Irish psychic medium Rose O’Driscoll, that Nanny Peg had a message for me. Who else but she would wish to contact her eldest grandchild, the first in the family to make it across the Atlantic and settle amidst the skyscrapers?
After a year when my future in New York was all but certain, in a brief few words from Rose I received what everybody who makes a big life choice yearns to hear: that everything will settle down in the end.
“Everyone that comes for a reading, there's bound to be something that’s concerning them,” Rose told me.
“I don’t ask for any information. A lot of times it could be simply people wish for some kind of intuitive guidance on that side of things. They just want to know if they're going in the right direction. They might just be stagnant in their lives and they just want a bit of guidance.
“Having the message come from a spirit, it's that extra bit of comfort because it shows that there is something after life, that we are being looked after now to get through the hard times, the challenging times. It is that opportunity for people to get both comfort and guidance and to know that they're not alone.”
Although readily available to take readings via email and Skype (the means by which I spoke to her), Cork-native Rose will travel to New York in the lead-up to this year’s Halloween festivities. She hopes to connect with more people stateside, branching out from her current Irish base to meet and learn from more people, and to strengthen the self-developed talent she says she discovered just three years ago.
Having what she calls an “unusual childhood,” Rose claims to have always had that intuitive sense which allowed her to give good advice. Yet, she never fully understood that, perhaps, this advice was coming from the minds of different people — spirits connected to a friend who was suffering a heartbreak, or deceased family members of a confidant telling her their troubles, passing on the knowledge via Rose’s own strong connection with them.
“You know the way you'd think you'd had imaginary friends, but now I know that it wasn't just an imaginary friend,” she jokes.
After years of strange dreams and a feeling of being able to sense death, Rose had grown to be “uniform in society,” working normal factory and cash office jobs until the day of her own first reading when the words of the medium forced it all into place.
“I was confused at the time because I wasn't exactly aware of what she meant,” Rose said of the medium who told her that her she was very spiritual and excellent at connecting with spirits, “so I thought about what she said but it felt right.
“It’s very hard to explain. It’s your gut feeling, when somebody says something, you know that's exactly what it is. You know it's right.”
Rose decided to take a chance and began readings of her own. Initially she arranged them with friends or offered them for free so she could develop her own skill at connecting with the spirits close to her clients without the use of props such as tarot cards.
“It's very uplifting to help other people evolve as well,” Rose confided.
“Look, everybody has their own intuition. Everybody has an ability to use their own intuition and my job is just to help them along with it.”
“Obviously, I have to put bread on my own table, but at the same time I would class it more as my destiny [than a job] because the amount of people I come across, the amount of clients, the amount of work that I've done in the last three years, the amount of people I've met, words can't even describe how it's been.
“I'm not the same person I was prior to starting this so there's definitely huge benefits with it.”
These benefits include the opportunity to travel through the US and Canada with her natural-born ability and almost 17 and a half thousand followers on Facebook. Her fames has spread on both sides of the Atlantic. Despite only discovering this ability in 2014, Rose has already worked with missing persons and cold cases, helping families find much needed closure in Canada, America and Ireland.
Of course, after finally coming to the conclusion that her fellow medium was right and pursuing her own career as a psychic medium was her destiny, Rose had to teach herself how to suitably cope with not just her own emotions, but those of the spirits and her clients during readings. She learned to discipline herself to recognize that it’s the spirits’ feelings of pride or joy she feels once she connects. She creates a disassociation between that and what she herself may be feeling.
I can “decide to turn it off, if that makes sense,” she explains to me.
“A lot of people would ask me if I'm going into a supermarket could I tune into everything that's going on and that would be very draining. So, again, there's the discipline of training myself to say, ‘look, it's just Rose today, that's it.’ There is that option.”
Rose long dreamt of being able to complete the great American road trip, so Rose is once again trusting her gut and will be setting out for New York this Fall. New York, the place where she held her very first show as a psychic medium.