October 23, 2017 09:00 AM

What It Is: A reading with spiritual counselor Anna Raimondi, who wrote the new book Conversations with Mary: Messages of Love, Healing, Hope and Unity for Everyone.

Who Tried It: Rennie Dyball, Senior News Editor

Why We Tried It: I’m neither a full-on believer nor a complete skeptic. I’m psychic-curious.

Level of Difficulty: Very little on my end! Maybe 2/10. The only difficulty came in not babbling too much. I wanted to give her as little information as possible to “test” her authenticity.

Anna Raimondi holds many titles. She’s an author, for one (more on that later), she’s got a Bachelors in Clinical Psychology, and she’s a hypnotherapist, grief counselor and spiritual counselor. In short, she’s a well-educated woman who talks to dead people.

I’d had a reading with Anna a couple years back and was truly impressed by how much she knew about my loved ones who have passed on. So I wanted to do it again, with both of us on-camera, to see how she’d fare. Plus, Raimondi has a new book, Conversations with Mary, based on the relationship she says she has with Mother Mary. Hard to ignore a claim like that.

In my reading, Raimondi jumped right in with stories about my deceased family members that don’t exactly come up in a quick Google search. “Your grandmother keeps saying that I’m calling you by the wrong name. Why am I calling you the wrong name?” she asked me.

Many of my friends and colleagues don’t even know that Rennie is actually my middle name. I was named after my grandmother, but I go by Rennie. Apparently, my grandmother is not bothered by this, she just wanted to make it known that Rennie isn’t actually my first name. (Whoa.)

Raimondi also had messages for me to give to other people in my family, and she had some incredible insights about my relationships with them. I have no idea how she could have known this stuff without interviewing my nearest and dearest at length. (They swear she did not.)

She was even able to “channel” a horse named Harry who I’ve ridden for years. Harry and I used to compete on the hunter/jumper circuit but he’s older now and I don’t ride him quite as much. From the way Harry looks, to the way we relate to one another, to Harry missing me now that I don’t ride him as often, Raimondi seemed to know it all.

I also was given “advice” from my dad about a book I’ve been thinking about writing. It made me smile, if nothing else, to get his input today the way I used to when he was living. Also: how could Raimondi know about a book that’s still completely in my head?

As for Mary, she didn’t factor into my own reading specifically (I had to ask), but Raimondi says we can all receive her messages. “I’ve always had a devotion to Mary, a connection to Mary,” Raimondi later tells me after the reading. So why would Mary have chosen Raimondi to deliver her messages?

“I asked Mary why she chose me and her answer to me was: ‘I chose you because you were listening.’ I could have shut off the voice. She wants everyone to hear her.”

Pressed further (I had to ask whether Raimondi realizes how nuts this is going to sound to some people), she said, “I am what I am, I know what I hear. Call me crazy. If this book is able to help 10 people, 100 people, 100,000 people, then that’s it, that’s what I’m here to do. This is my mission.”

The verdict: I have to admit, my reading was fascinating. To be on the phone with someone (not in person where they could potentially be reading your body language or getting other cues from you) and have them rattle off all sorts of private details about your life is an experience like none other. I found the whole thing to be affirming and fun. Am I any more of a believer? I still don’t know. But I do believe that Raimondi is one fascinating woman.

Conversations with Mary will be available on October 17.

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