A conversation with the great beyond and those who see it

Words and Audio by Shelbie Malinski
Photos by Zoe Ekonomou

If you’re at a crossroads in life, there are options.

Some people talk to friends, family or a therapist. Others find help through psychics.

I’ve never been one to shut out an idea, so the thought of going to a psychic was intriguing. Other than seeing more than my fair share of episodes of “That’s So Raven,” I had no idea what going to a psychic was actually like. When I imagined Visions Psychics in Des Moines, I pictured crystal balls on every table in a room covered in tapestries and crystals. But what I found when I met with Ula Yule and Vianne Higgins was, well, normal. I sat at a table in a bright room, inside an unsuspecting home. There were boxes of tarot cards on a center table. Off in the distance, I could hear the patter of one of their four cats roaming around.

Yule and Higgins met working on a missing persons case in 2012. Ever since, they’ve been reading together from their home parlor. I sat down for a reading and talking to them about their lives and what it was like to be a psychic.

With the variety of abilities they seem to have, it was fascinating to talk to them about the experiences they’ve had with other people who came in looking for readings. They mentioned one instance where a bachelorette party came for a reading about the couple’s future, only for Yule and Higgins to explain that they were getting messages saying this wasn’t the right guy for her.

“She’s happy now, she’s with a great guy, but that was an awkward bachelorette party,” Higgins laughed.

The two attempt to bridge the gap between a prophet and a therapist. They work together reading tarot, receiving messages they pass on to eager ears.

I found that I knew people who could use a conversation with them —  maybe not in their roles as psychics, but as someone to talk to about their direction in life.

I asked them when they learned that these abilities set them apart from others and what it was like to grow up as a psychic, because I couldn’t imagine the traumas involved with growing up while claiming to receive messages other people didn’t get.

As they talked to me, I noticed that they kept telling stories about how they let people know their significant other was cheating on them, or if they had a medical condition. I asked if they thought they got messages that leaned more on the negative side, to which Ula responded simply, “it’s not positive or negative, it’s just the truth.” I wondered if, because they often receive these messages, they ever censored themselves around clients in order to avoid a potentially awkward situation.

At the end of our meeting, I asked for a reading. I was a little nervous, because we had just talked for thirty minutes about them giving people bad news. As Yule and Higgins continued to talk to me about directions my life could go, I found myself opening up more and becoming increasingly calm when facing the rest of my life. They told me that I was on the right career path and that they saw me continuing to work in journalism, that my family would be supportive of my endeavors and that they saw snow in my future.

So, are they right about my future?
I’ll keep you posted.

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