'Psychic Kindergarten' Teaches Budding Mediums How to Explore Their Gifts

California Institute teaches psychics how to explore their gifts.

August 12, 2011, 4:55 PM

Aug. 16, 2011— -- Long before J.K. Rowling ever conceived Hogwarts, a small group of students in Berkeley, Calif., were learning what Harry Potter would have called "divination."

It's called "psychic kindergarten," beginner lessons for clairvoyants, where they learn how to read colored spirits, feel chakras and "blow roses." Susan Bostwick, the president of the Berkeley Psychic Institute, is also one of its teachers.

"What we do is teach people to discover, go in and find out what your abilities are, and how do you want to use them for the greater good," she said.

Bostwick stressed that, unlike Harry Potter and his friends, what she and her students are practicing is not magic.

Tune into "Primetime Nightline: Beyond Belief" special, "Psychic Power," airing on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 10 p.m./9c on ABC.

"We talk about magic and miracles, [but] it's allowing yourself to have what you're experiencing in life as a miracle," she said. "I'm teaching people to use their psychic ability. They already have it."

The institute, which is an offshoot of the Church of the Divine Man, is a new age religious group, which bases its teachings on the Bible's New Testament and has been around for 38 years. It has had 300,000 participants come through, according to Bostwick.

When the students are asked to "blow roses" in "psychic kindergarten," it means they are being asked to imagine a rose as a way of focusing the mind. In their minds' eye, they then visualize the rose exploding, which is supposed to clear their thoughts, getting rid of any distracting psychic energy.

The students also spend time talking about colors of psychic energy. Each of the colors has different meanings. For example, gold means spiritually awakened or inspired.

"In kindergarten, you're just there to play and learn and discover," said Bingo Marasigan, director of the Berkeley Psychic Institute. "That's what we do here. We provide the space. It's a playground for you to play with energy."

After graduating from the institute, the participants use their skills in many different fields. One is a clairvoyant debt counselor; another, a self-styled psychic hairdresser. Another, named Nysa, lives near Napa Valley, Calif., where she reads people's auras -- the psychic energy that surrounds our bodies in vivid colors.

Some Real Estate Agents Call in Psychics To Do 'House Healings'

Places, such as a house or an apartment, also can have auras from the psychic energy people have left behind. A group of psychic healers from the institute now work in real estate conducting "house healing," at the request of a real estate agent. They clear the rooms of any negative energy left over from the previous owners.

Real estate agent Luis Castillio-Munoz says he uses the healers purely to help houses sell. He had them come to one house where the former tenants were out of work and couldn't afford to pay the rent for six months.

"It's my business, so if I want to sell a house, you put energy in, energy comes out," he explained. "We'll do whatever it takes to get it sold."

However, the house in question still hasn't sold.

Bostwick said that part of what they teach in "psychic kindergarten" is how to put the disappointments of life in perspective because they believe there is more reality than people can see.

"Learn to be amused by the things around you," she told her class. "When you're amused, the problems tend to get a lot smaller."

Tune into "Primetime Nightline: Beyond Belief" special, "Psychic Power," airing on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 10 p.m./9c on ABC.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events