This article originally appeared on VICE Portugal.
Eva Mendonça is a spiritual medium who claims to be able to see dead people. She says she discovered her gift while working as a tarot card reader, and from there went on to study at the Arthur Findlay College of Spiritualism in Essex.
Personally, I've always been a skeptic when it comes to all things spiritual – someone who weighs up the cold hard facts before believing anything. However, as skeptical as I may be, I'm also extremely curious. So when a mutual friend introduced me to Eva, I jumped at the chance to chat to her about the dead celebrities she's spoken with, what the spirit world is actually like and whether it's healthy for a person to know their own future.
VICE: What exactly does it mean to be a medium?
Eva: A medium has the ability to consciously connect with the spiritual dimension. We're the bridge between the human and spiritual world.
Do you see dead people and talk to them?
I have, yes. But mostly I feel them, on a psychic level. They give me information and talk to me, but in a non-vocal way. It's as if I have always known about them, even though we haven't met alive. It's what we call in the business, "inner knowing".
How did you discover your gift?
I was working as a tarot card reader when, in the middle of a session with a regular client, I heard an inner voice telling me to stop and focus. I looked up and noticed a woman sitting next to me, dressed in black and holding a baby. Instinctively, I knew she was the mother of the client I was reading to. I began to wonder how it was possible that I was getting all this information about the woman, and how she was able to communicate this without using any of the five senses.
It was there and then that I realised I had this ability to sense other dimensions. From there, I began studying the subject in more detail – even moving to England to study at the Arthur Findlay College of Spiritualism. At first, this was all a shock to me, but today I know the intuition is way more natural to the human condition than most people think.
Have you ever fallen in love with a spirit?
No, thank god! I do know that it can happen, though – so that's why I really hope it doesn't happen to me; it must be a tricky thing to deal with. However, the lady I mentioned above – the one that helped me discover my mediumship – came to visit me a few years later when I was studying in England. She told me she had always been with me and that I could count on her. I think she probably likes me because I was the one her daughter came to for her tarot readings. I'm also very fond of her, even though we never met in her lifetime.
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Have you ever talked to a dead celebrity?
My only experience with a celebrity in the other dimension came while I was attending Arthur Findlay. We were learning how to incorporate – a technique that involves allowing the spirit to use your body as a vehicle and communicate through you – and I was able to do it. Once the spirit was in me, my mind lost touch with my body, just after I was able to hear the first sentence: "There is a force in electromagnetism that humans call love."
After the spirit left my body, my tutor told me that the person who incorporated me was Albert Einstein himself, and that he had spoken through me for seven to ten minutes straight.
If I visit several mediums, will they all see the same things in me?
No. It's possible that they will all see the same bigger picture, but each medium represents a specific channel. We all have our own ways of communicating and receiving information.
Can you see or feel things in people just by walking past them?
Yes – intuitions can appear at any second, but I try to keep them away. As much as I can, I try to live a normal life. There are some things that keep happening that I can't help, such as knowing a woman is pregnant even before she knows it herself.
Are you able to see into your own future or read yourself?
I sometimes have intuitions about myself, like random thoughts that I say aloud that end up happening in real life. But they're not very clear and I don't practice it very often. Sometimes, I'll read tarot to help me make a decision, such as whether it's worth going on a particularly expensive trip. But in general, I don't put my gift to use on myself.
Do you think it's always better to know the future beforehand than to wait and see?
That is one of the reasons why I don't use it on myself. There are certain things that are better left unknown, such as if the relationship you've just started is going to last. If you know something is going to happen, and you decide to change paths, you'll never truly be sure if your decision was worth it. On the other hand, if you do have a chance to avoid doing something regrettable, then why not take it?
Is there anything spiritual that you don't believe in?
I don't believe in false prophets or rigid concepts, as the world is ever changing and only mathematics can offer absolute truths. I also don't believe in people who try to force their beliefs on others – especially when mediums do it. For example, if I sense someone has cancer, the only thing I'll tell them is that they should go see a doctor. There are mediums out there who will straight up tell them they have cancer, when it's not our job to diagnose people.
I can't help but ask you one extra question: can you sense something about me even though we're on the phone?
Eva: Well, over the phone it's not so easy, just give me a second… do you have a brother?
Me: A sister.
Eva: That's it. I feel a distance between you and your sister.
Me: I live in Barcelona and she lives in Madrid.
Eva: The information I'm getting is that there is a common denominator between you and your sister, as if you came to this world as a package. You have a very strong connection and, despite the physical distance, will always walk through life hand-in-hand. About you, I sense that you are a very positive person who tends to make every situation simpler. Your Achilles heel is your emotions – you're a very sensitive person and you let your feelings get the best of you, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just takes more work. Now I shut my eyes, I see a train.
Me: Well, I'm going to Madrid in a few weeks and I'll probably go by train. Or my house here in Barcelona is across the street from a train station.
Eva: That's probably why. Do you see how clairvoyance works now? I ask for images that you can recognise.
This article originally appeared on VICE PT.