Cleaning her house one day nearly thirty years ago, Irma Slage looked up to see her friend standing before her, agitatedly saying, "Call my husband." Although Slage hadn't heard her friend enter the house, "I could see her as clearly as I can see my hand. It was her."
She called the friend's husband, who explained that the friend had just died. Slage believes she had been visited not by the woman herself but by her spirit. It was then that Slage had to admit that she had a rare gift.
Before that fateful afternoon, Slage had never discussed with anyone the frequent messages she received from the departed, "because it was so normal to me," she said. "It was part of my life. Just as I wouldn't go up to you and ask whether your stomach moves up and down when you breathe, I wouldn't have asked anyone back then whether they heard those voices in their heads. I thought everyone did."
Recognizing her unique skill, Slage began sharing it with everyone she knew. "I would go to their houses and give them messages from their loved ones — from those who were dead and those who were alive, even from departed pets. I wanted to help people. That's what I've always wanted."
Slage said she also receives messages through automatic writing, a technique she adopted after her mother's death. "I put a sheet of paper on my lap and turned on the TV so that my mind would be focused elsewhere," she said. "I told myself: This hand holding this pen can do anything it wants. I felt it going around in loops, and finally when I looked down it had written, 'It's really me. Love, Mom.'"
These days, the Livermore psychic uses a computer keyboard for automatic writing. She also investigates haunted houses, helps police departments investigate homicides, and holds private sessions. "I hear voices very clearly and repeat what I hear word for word. Messages from the dead usually come across exactly the way these people spoke when they were alive."
At the Union City Library (34007 Alvarado Niles Rd., Union City) on Saturday, February 12, she will discuss her books, Psychic Encounters: A Guide to Having Your Own Spirit Contact and Phases of Life After Death, which she said was dictated via automatic writing. "It was written by spirits who have passed on," Slage said. "When the spirit world talks, we have to listen. They tell us what's important. They give us lessons to follow."
And we can all hear them if we just try, she said: The door that seems to unlock itself, the special song that plays on the radio at exactly the right time — such things should be taken as signs. "I believe everybody is psychic. It's just a matter of extent. Everyone can draw, but if I drew a horse I would have to tell you it's a horse. We've all had psychic encounters, but most people don't realize that's what they are. I don't believe in the word 'coincidence.'" 3 p.m., free. IrmaSlage.com