Spirit Times welcomes Joe Who. Joe is a seasoned, talented Chicago-area psychic with a highly unique gift. Joe is what’s known as a “voice natural direct sensitive.” This is the ability to see or know things just from hearing a person speak.
ST: Joe, I’m fascinated with your work from hearing the listener call-in readings you used to do on Dave Schrader’s radio show Darkness Radio, which is now a widely available podcast. You describe being a voice natural direct as when someone starts talking, you start to “see” things behind your eyes which allow you to give a very accurate psychic impression of a person and those around them. Please tell us a little more about your process.
Joe: You know I’ve been able to do this ever since I was a little boy and the intuitive ability runs on both my mother’s and father’s sides of the family. I remember as a little child playing with little kids in the neighborhood when someone would get hurt, and when I’d come to their aid. All of a sudden I would find myself crying too because I could see what was going on because when
I hear a person’s voice I start to see these images behind my eyes. That’s about the best way I can put it.
The interesting thing about it is it could be colors, scenes, it could be all kinds of different things. Over the years, I’ve realized how to interpret them. And I used to ask my mom “Why can’t we do this?” She would always say “Don’t tell people. They’ll make fun of us.” She was worried about people ridiculing me actually because I was a little kid. She was afraid that people would look at us strangely. You have to understand my mother and father are…I’m only first generation in America. My mother and father are both from Italy. They met each other in Chicago.
ST: You mentioned you “see” things, which could be considered clairvoyance. Do you hear things as well in your head, like when you are doing the readings, which is considered clairaudience? Obviously voice and sound are key to your work.
Joe: Sometimes (I hear things). Once in a while a person will come through. Like if I’m giving a session and all of a sudden I’ll say “I’ll know that your aunt has passed away because I see her around you.” And they’ll say “Can you hear it if they say anything?”
One quick example is I was building a house outside of Chicago and went to a nearby restaurant with a couple of friends. The hostess sat us down and as soon as I sat down, I started hearing “Where’s my rings? What did she do with my rings?” and there were four elderly ladies at the table next to us. I thought they were talking. It kept getting louder and louder. And said to my friends, “Why is she so worried about her rings?” And they said “What are you talking about?” And then I realized it wasn’t them because I realized it was coming from inside my head. So the waitress came, and I figured out it was the contact I had with the hostess. The hostess turned out to be the waitress’s mom.
I spoke with the hostess and asked her if her mom just passed. She said yes, and asked if I read it in the paper. I said “No, I’m just moving out here.” She said “Why? Are you psychic?” I said
“Well, as a matter of fact, I kinda am. Your mother won’t leave me alone until I ask you where you put her rings.”
Her jaw dropped and she said “I buried them with her to make peace with my sisters.” I said “She wanted you to have them,” and then the voices stopped. She wanted that daughter to have the rings and there was an argument with the sisters about who would get the rings.
ST: You may have provided some sort of healing for her.
ST: You’ve said you’ve had this ability since you were a kid and your voice natural direct gift is in the family. If your parents had this gift, did they practice it?
Joe: No. Growing up, my mother always said “Joey, don’t forget, you can’t lie to me.” And I said, “Mom, you can’t lie to me either.” But my mother had intuitive ability. My father’s father’s brother, or my grandpa’s brother had the gift. And neither my brother or my sister, neither one showed any abilities like I had.
ST: So your mother showed some ability?
Joe: Yes, quite a bit. She would never hold sessions with people. She would tell people things if they asked her. But she didn’t really want to get involved in it. Her mother had it. My mother’s mother had it too, my grandmother.
ST: So does the person’s voice that you are reading have to be live for you to pick up things, or can you still get hits when it’s a recorded voice? Like when you hear something when you are listening to a recorded interview, or a live interview.
Joe: If it’s a live voice over the air, it doesn’t matter. If it’s recorded, I can’t pick anything up, unless it’s digital. We discovered that when I worked at a radio station in Chicago. When they started changing to digital formats, I was able to pick up things digitally. I have no idea why. I never have a problem with an actual person’s voice…if it’s a live TV broadcast, or something like that, no problem.
ST: Maybe with digital because there can be so much more density to the file, as more is captured?
Joe: I think so too. Because of electronic voice phenomena or EVP: why is that (beings or spirits) from the other side, they can affect a tape recorder and have it come on there (from the other side) but a recorded voice doesn’t do anything for me? But digital, I can pick up things. I don’t think about it too much. It just works that way.
ST: Is each reading very different from one another from voice to voice, person to person that you read as to the form of information you get or the type of information you receive? This gets into how you would interpret what you are seeing and sensing.
Joe: Usually when a person comes to me, I say if you have a set of questions you want answered, I say don’t tell me, I don’t want to know them. But sometimes people get freaked out about what I do and they forget what they want to ask. But the basic questions everybody asks is love, money and family. You know kids, grandchildren, finances, jobs, things like that. And after that is other things like health. I can pick up medical things. No two readings are the same.
I classify people as older souls and younger souls.
ST: This is just what we want to ask you about. The next couple of questions are about soul age and past lives. On Dave’s Darkness Radio, you would often call out people as young souls, middle souls, or old souls. First of all, what does it mean to be a young, middle or old soul?
Joe: People fall into two basic categories: younger souls and older souls. There is a rare group in the middle called middle souls. Younger souls are people who their analytical side is stronger than their emotional, creative side. Older souls are people who their emotional, creative side is much higher than their analytical side.
Middle souls are equally as high. Unfortunately, middle souls have the hardest time of all of the different souls and here’s why: they don’t know from day to day, minute to minute, hour to hour, if they will be in the younger soul or older soul mode. And so they can make up their mind, change it, change it, make it up, and when they think they have their mind made up, they can change it again. For those people, the best careers they can have are something that uses both their analytical and creative side. And the only ones who can understand a middle soul would be an older soul.
Older souls are people who are very very attuned to emotion, attuned to creativity. They usually turn out to be night people. They tend to be a little bit clumsy, not terribly, spilling coffee, bumping things. And older souls cannot do just one thing. They are extremely multi-faceted. And you could be excited about something this week, and then next week you are bored and want to do something else. In fact, a lot of old souls do not settle on a career until their late 20s and or early 30s. Old souls get old though they never really grow up. In fact, they don’t even age the same way, and I really don’t know why.
ST: They age at a far slower rate?
Joe: Yes, and I just don’t know why. I’ll give you an example. My mom was an older soul, and she passed one day before her 95th birthday. She had did not have the translucent skin with the spots and all that, where you can see the veins. She had none of that. My mother drove until she was 92. In Illinois, you have to go behind the wheel and have a test every year until I think after 80. After 92, she said she was tired of driving so she didn’t drive anymore. She went to sleep the day before her birthday and she just didn’t wake up.
ST: Why do you think there’s less middle souls, or is there less middle souls coming to you for readings?
Joe: No. It’s just people, because getting to the center is a work in progress. Getting to God, if you will, is a work in progress. If you think one lifetime is going to do that, it’s arrogant, vain thinking. It’s just like having your son or daughter in kindergarten trying to give a college curriculum. What are they going to learn? Nothing. Now there are intuitives out there who say
“I see you’ve been with the same wife or the same gentleman for 50 lifetimes.” That’s another bunch of poop. That’ll never happen. You can come back the same way twice. Otherwise, you are never going to learn. It’s like being in the eighth grade for 10 or 20 years.
Let’s say you were married to a guy named Jim. And then you guys come back. Well, then you’d be Jim and he’d be you. And after that, you’d be friends, associates, cousins, all kinds of different things. But only the same way twice because your soul has no gender. So there’s times you’ve been here as a man, and times you’ve been here as a woman.
ST: I really believe that. All these past lives stories…because we need the balance. And related to soul age, when you are doing a reading, does a person’s past lives tend to come back to you, or those that are particularly applicable to their current lifetime?
Joe: You know what, sometimes they are very profound and sometimes they are very fuzzy. That’s an interesting question because people say “Don’t tell me anything bad.” But it happens so quickly that I can only tell you what I see and don’t ask me to do that because I can’t do that.
It just doesn’t work. You know I try to be diplomatic. Intuition is a spontaneous thing because thinking about an answer is no longer intuition. It’s your own thoughts.
These are things I’ve learned over the years. Like I said, middle souls are rare. Why? On a scale of 1 to 10, the oldest soul I’ve ever come across is an 8. And the youngest soul I’ve ever seen is a 4.
ST: What do mean? Their age?
Joe: As far as their spiritual age?
ST: And that could be 100s or 1000s of lifetimes?
Joe: Levels 1, 2 and 3 exist but not on this earth plane. If you get to this plane, already you are a Level 4. This is a level 4 planet. And some people make the transition into old soul while in the body and that’s interesting. Let’s say they are analytical people. In fact, there is a disproportionate amount of younger souls in places of authority. Bosses, supervisors, you know, things like that. More than older souls. Older souls can do that but not like younger souls can.
Let’s say you and I are in the restaurant business and you are the younger soul and I am the older soul. Well you would be running the business, taking care of the books and I would bring in the people. Or I would be the chef because that’s a very creative thing.
ST: So they can transition to old soul while here?
Joe: Yes, they can transition into old soul while in body and that can be very difficult because here you go…In fact, I had a lady come to me after 20 some years, she became very emotional, she turned into a night person. She went to see a psychiatrist. I explained it to her. After the session, I think it was a week or two later, she called me up and I said “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m not crazy.” I said “Of course you’re not but you’re rare.” … It’s quite a passage but it’s a very rare thing.
ST: On Dave’s show, you’ve mentioned to some of the callers you’ve read that they may hear ringing in their ears from time to time. As a way to explain this, other intuitives have said that high-pitched sounds can be messages communicated to us from our guides or our soul, that we hear the ringing or high-pitched noises because a higher vibration is communicating with us. For you, what does ringing in the ears mean? Could this just be tinnitus?
Joe: There are two sides. You have your right-side ringing and your left-side ringing and I’ve always known it to be, in my own personal world, for messages as people wishing good or negative upon you. You know people pass energy back and forth all day long. I mean we are sentient beings. We radiate. Let’s say you are doing something and your right ear starts to ring, that’s someone talking good about you, or looking at you in a nice light. If your left ear rings, someone is looking at you and wishing harm upon you or being very envious of you. And I always tell people when it’s in the right ear, just say “thank you,” and go on with thing because they only last 20 to 30 seconds. And they can be more profound, louder, higher or lower, it doesn’t matter.
The left ear is somebody wishing negative upon you. When that happens just say to yourself, over and over, “From me, back to thee.” And you’re sending it back from where it came from.
You don’t need to know where it’s coming from. It’s just ritual. And if it’s persistent you say “From me back to thee, times three.” (Or, you can say it until it fades.) And that’s a very real thing….This is how I’ve always seen it.
ST: So no one is there? Is it a spirit or someone else?
Joe: What I’m explaining is it doesn’t matter where the person is. It’s obviously someone who knows you. It wouldn’t be a stranger. Nine times out of ten it’s someone you know. Do you ever go to a party and there’s certain people you would be drawn to, and there’s no reason other than there is something that you pick up on that makes you want to go up and talk to them?…It’s something that you feel on the inside. Well that’s the energy that you pass back and forth. People you know now you’ve known before. Souls tend to stick together just like friends do.
People have to understand we are spiritual beings trying to understand what the hell it is like to be human. Your soul learns too like you do. And then when you pass on you know all things not natural.
Children never pick their parents. Parents pick their children. People ask me “When is a person considered a human?” The soul is due to be destined…the soul picked you as a mom. It’s a sliding process. At the moment of conception, the soul slides into the fetus, and the baby develops more and more of the soul. Once the baby is born, the soul is locked in…let’s say something happens, an abortion, miscarriage, and something like that…because the soul isn’t completely blocked in yet, it can slide out rather easily and quickly before birth. That’s why it’s a sliding process.
ST: You mentioned that love, money, family, sometimes health, is why people tend to seek you out as a psychic for a voice-natural-direct-reading? Are these people ultimately stuck do you think? Or are they just curious? Or, are some people are in dire need when they come to you?
Joe: Some people are in dire need. Some people it’s curiosity. Some people consider it fun. I was invited to a lecture to women in banking in Washington, D.C. And the lady says, “Oh, this will be fun.” And I looked at her and said, “Well, you hired the wrong guy. I’m not doing this for fun. I’m doing this to tell you what I see.” And back then, I warned all the women in banking about the market that was crashing in 2007, and this was way before then. I had no idea what I was saying but it happened…I talked to individual people too, and I try to keep it light but, you know, things will pop through. (Relays story about seeing a student’s deceased grandmother behind her while lecturing at Loyola University.)
ST: You were billed as Chicago’s number one psychic. Your Facebook page which is JoeWho (all one word) suggests you’ve read over 20,000 people. This gives you insights into human behavior and the human condition which many of us don’t have. On your website, you suggest we are all spiritual beings, and that you view your ability as another way of gathering information to help with life’s many paths. Are there were any words of wisdom you would give to spiritual seekers finding this Q&A? Are we all too hard on ourselves, for example?
Joe: It’s very much an individual thing. Let’s say you have two neighbors, one on the left side of you and one on the right side of you. The one on the left side of you goes to church every Sunday but he’s a drinker, he cheats on his wife and beats his kids. On the right side, the guy doesn’t go to church but he’s a very good man. He treats his family well, his community good and treats people like they want to be treated. At the end, at judgment, the progression of the soul with the provision of the spirit, because of this guy who goes to church every Sunday he’s going to be given absolution from all he does. Do you believe that? I don’t.
…And reincarnation is in the Bible. I never get this right. It concerns Moses and Elijah. Jesus was talking to a group of people and said “See that man. He’s Moses. He used to be Elijah.” What is he talking about? He’s talking about reincarnation…But you know getting to center is a work in progress. That’s why I said one lifetime doesn’t do it. As far as the reasons why, they are as varied as grass is on lawn.
(Discussion of sometimes he doesn’t see things or get information about someone. He sometimes detects health situations. In one case, on a Chicago radio show, there was a malignancy on a pituitary gland and the woman got the right help from a specialist to remove it and save her, after Joe’s direction to see a doctor.)
ST: Are there many other psychics and intuitives out there with your unique gift that you are aware of?
Joe: I’ve heard there was a woman in New York that kind of does what I do. I never knew there was a name for what I do. I was working on a top-secret government project on robotics in the 1980s and I fell off of a brand-new 10-foot ladder. And the maintenance guy wasn’t there. They were having some people from Ford Defense there for a meeting. The light was out so I replaced the light. I fell off the ladder and I wound up in the hospital with three herniated discs I think. They were talking about doing surgery. The doctor told me the surgery might be worse than the damage. And I said “No I don’t want surgery.” And they said “We’re going to send you to a pain clinic.” There’s a hospital in Chicagoland that had a pain clinic. It was kind of like a motel in the hospital. Part of the process was self-hypnosis. I met with a psychologist and they put you into self-hypnosis. They teach you how to do that to deal with the pain.
Anyway, we were leaving. I think there were about five other people there and we’re walking down the hall and I was asking the psychologist, let’s call him Gary, I said “Gary, you bought an aquarium didn’t you?” He gave me a funny look. And I said, “Yeah, you’re going to do salt water. Don’t do fresh water. I know you are thinking about it.” He said, “You are right. I’m going to do saltwater. How did you know this?” I said “When you are talking, I can see it.”
ST: Are you sure you didn’t all of a sudden have a head injury from when you fell off the ladder (in referencing a change to your cognitive abilities)?
Joe: No, no just herniated three discs in my back.
ST: It’s weird your psychic ability was so much more developed.
Joe: No, no. It wasn’t more developed. It just happened to be with him. I picked up things from other people at the pain clinic but him because he was in a dilemma. He was arguing with himself if he should do salt or fresh water. I said “Salt water. Once you establish it, it’s easier than fresh water.” He said “Well how do you know that?” I told him, “For some reason when I hear people talk, I see things behind my eyes.”
He said he has a group of psychologists that we do research into paranormal and you have a very unusual gift called “voice natural direct sensitive,” and I had never heard that before. He invited me to address their group, and I felt really funny about doing that…He gave me the information but…I never did go. He was the guy who gave me the title, that there was a name for it. It’s very rare. I was leery about going to his group.
But there was something else going on too because it was like a hotel and I was listening to late-night radio and this radio host named Chuck Britton had a thing called “street psychics.” If you tell him what he lost, they would give you tickets to see Genesis and I loved the group Genesis way back then. I called up and said, “He lost his sunglasses.” And the producer said “No, no. He always does that.” They were going to hang up, and I said “Wait a minute….He swallowed a temporary cap on his tooth.” The producer says “How do you know that?” And I said “Because I can see it.” Anyway, he put me on hold, and Chuck Britton came on the air and he swore up and down I knew him. I never knew him. I told him I was at a pain clinic. He said “When are you getting out?” I said, “A couple of days.” He said, “Can you come down to the studio then?” I did. I got the tickets to see Genesis. He asked me if I could take some phone calls and from that day on, my life changed…that was 1984…So I can say I have been in radio since 1984…And some of the most popular deejays in Chicago radio did shows with me: Larry Lujack, Fred Winston, John Records Landecker, all kinds of them.
ST: It’s fascinating that you started your career in more technical areas such as robotics engineering, working with engineers. You have 2 degrees in music and studied opera. Does any of this technical and arts background inform your work now?
Joe: I didn’t, I started my career in music. (He explains the technical and music background doesn’t inform his work now)…I went to the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. I didn’t have one friend…There were a lot of people that were just so full of themselves…The funny part about it was there was a kid in the next town over who was right by where I lived with my parents. I offered to pay him if he could give me rides, and he looked at me and said, “I don’t think so.” There are a couple of good people, but for the most part they were so involved in who they were, what they were doing, and how good they thought they were… I remember my music theory teacher, my piano teacher, his name was Dr. Burke. He said, “Joe, I’m going to be honest with you. To make it in the business you want to be in, you have to be an egotistical bastard, and you’re not that.”
But then I was going to school I got in the electrical union, and got an electrical apprenticeship with my brother who’s an electrician and got us in. I had something to fall back on. So from there I got into robotics. To me it was no big deal. In my yearbook, they used to call me “Joe the Medium.” I graduated from high school…in 1967, all right. It’s all in there, people wrote, “How do you know the things you know?” (Funny stories of attractive girls who sat by him just to ask if so-and-so likes them.)
ST: Was making the transition to full-time psychic difficult?
Joe: It was. Because this is something I do for free also. And someone said, “Joe, what do you think your ability is worth? If you don’t think there is any worth in it, you’ll lose it.” I had a hard time charging (people). I said “I’ll make it easier for me if I charge for my time, not what I do.”
That’s how I started. If someone doesn’t have any money, I never turn them down.
I work on murders and missing persons. I don’t talk about those on the air or anything. To me, it’s very personal. It would be sacrilegious…I help investigative departments. I even do stuff for corporate people, and the government.
I talk to people all over the world. If I was baloney, and not worth it, I still wouldn’t be doing it today.
ST: I think it’s safe to say this is this your calling. What God wants you to do.
Joe: I know most of all I truly love people. I mean I really do. I always tell my audience, my friends, when I lecture…You always see people you want hand-outs for spare change. Always remember, people come in all shapes and sizes. So I think sometimes we are always being tested. You can tell. You can feel. Even the younger souls. They feel something.
ST: Well, Joe, We thank you for joining us today and hope to hear more from you in the future.
Joe: Thank you very much.
Joe Who is available for readings. For more information about Joe Who, visit: http://www.joewho.com/. He can be reached by phone at 815-498-9065 or email at joe at joe who dot com.