The Certified Gift of Sirry Berndsen

A quick skim of about 80 online reviews state that Sirry Berndsen is a “hero, a “gift”, a “beacon of light”, and an “angel on Earth.” A second read-through reveals that she has personally replied to almost all of them and ends each comment with the same signature: “with love and light, Sirry.” When asked why she does this, she calmly explains in her Icelandic accent, “In my culture, we’ve been there for almost 1,000 years. I think when you have small cultures, there’s this understanding of your neighbors and knowing them and treating them with this respect that you would like to be treated.” That is refreshing because it's not coming from a networking angle. “It’s because I care,” Sirry continued, “There’s also a karma behind it. In my culture, there is a saying, always be mindful in the presence of another soul. It's treating that soul, that person, that spirit with utmost gratitude and compassion. Because then it's our own reflection within it.”

After earning her journalism degree, Sirry moved to Boston to work on her MFA degree in visual arts at the Museum School. The world of psychics and mediums wasn’t even on her radar as she “thought it was a hokey.” But then things turned upside down. “For most of my life I was an Atheist and I thought you lived and you died and you go in the ground and you’re done. That's it. But then I had a life changing experience. In Boston, during my first year of graduate school I was attacked in my own home. When that happened I had to find meaning for life. Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Sirry’s search for meaning led her to the First Spiritualist Church of Quincy.. The place was crowded and a medium was going around the room giving messages from spirit. “That was the moment that totally changed my life. When I saw her [the medium] giving a message in a foreign language. I thought ‘how is that even possible?’ At the time, I was just about to graduate. I had no job, I had plenty of time, I was flat broke.” So when the church’s reverend mentioned that they were going to start classes in the fall, Sirry thought, “I’ve got nothing better to do and I think it was meant to be. I was being pushed that way and so I started taking classes and it was really easy for me. I always had the mind of being inquisitive and curious.” Her background in journalism, craft of the creative arts, and curious mind all prepared her for this next career step.

Sirry’s gifts emerged instantly. “I had everything in my favor: I was a visual artist, I knew how to ask questions to spirit, I knew how to receive their responses, and I was an empath.” An empath is able to feel spirit when they come through. “So I was able to put together all of these things and I had the sense to ask the spirit that was connecting with me who, what, where, why, when- as if I was doing an interview.”

This natural talent combined with her background education in reporting propelled Sirry all the way to Hogwarts. Kind of. Sirry explains it better. “Arthur Findlay College is in England. People refer to it as Hogwarts. When you go there, you walk into this old school, into this old building… and the energy there is very high. They do seances and table-tipping… they do it all. I’ve been there a few times just to take classes. It's a fun place to go to. I think we [mediums] have various loving relationships with the [Harry Potter] movies and all of the books. We joke ourselves. Sadly, there's no Hogwarts in America. There should be.” To clarify, Arthur Findlay College is a school of Spiritualism and psychic sciences founded in 1964. Subjects taught there include: mediumship, spiritual healing, meditation, hypnosis, Auragraphs, trance phenomenon, astrology, philosophy, and numerology. On the grounds there is a Museum of Spiritualism and a private Sanctuary for students to meditate. A short documentary was also made about the school in 2015.

After accumulating these skills, Sirry decided to put her abilities to the test. Many organizations claim that they can certify a medium, but not all of these are authentic. The Forever Family Foundation Inc. is an international not for profit organization whose goal is to further the understanding of Afterlife Science with research and education. “It's all volunteers. There’s no money exchanged with that organization. It's all scientific. Even their scientists are volunteers.” They also test mediums. “There’s hundreds of people per year that send in an application to be tested [as mediums]. Hundreds. There’s a very small percentage of people who get through.” Sirry was accepted. Even those that volunteer to be practiced on face a tough admissions process. “There are good sitters [people that volunteer to be read] and there are bad sitters. They [FFF] have to weave through a lot of people who want to do this.”

“The testing that I did for the Forever Family Foundation was one of the toughest tests that I’ve gone through. [It] was rigorous.” Keep in mind that Sirry is fluent in 5 languages and can read in 8 languages. “I did a few sessions back to back and I had to prove with each and every one of them that their loved ones were coming through. It had to be evidence with a very specific way of dying or something like that...evidence in those test readings is crucial and that could be proof of passing, relationship, age, profession of person passed, family dynamic, and where they lived.” When asked if she was ever worried about the results of the test she answered, “Absolutely. It was hard but I know that I got some really profound evidence.” Sirry passed and received a certification from the foundation.

The FFF isn’t the only group in the U.S. striving for evidence in the realm of psychic science. Many universities run studies on the brains and DNA of certified mediums. “Virginia University contacted me and some other FFF mediums to be a part of their study. I said yes. They would do MRI scans on my brain while I was doing a very specific task. They said it looks like I hear voices- which is true- and that my brain lights up differently from most brains. So mediums’ brains are a little bit different.“

What exactly does Sirry see when she’s connecting with a spirit? “The mechanics behind mediumship are clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, clairgustance, claire ambiance, and claircognizance. So it's the 6 senses that we use. I am then seeing subjectively through the eyes of the deceased person. I invite them to come in and then I see through their eyes. I can really move through memories so that is subjective clairvoyance.”

“I have done thousands of sessions to date, but there are times when I will experience the unusual.” This would include spirits that died an unusual or violent death. “For instance, I don’t watch violence on TV. I can’t take anything that has to do with guns or explosions.” Some of the cases that stay with Sirry are ones where the spirit has been murdered. “I think if I approached authorities today that they’ll probably not think that I am crazy because I have credentials.” When asked if there was a way she’s learned to not hold onto the trauma of the spirits, she explained, “I don’t make it mine. I just allow the information to flow through. They [spirit] sort of take over... what is important for me is that I make the connection pure and that it brings some answers to the people that are living. Sirry, the person, checks out. I go out for lunch, in a way. Never be scared of it because spirit can never really do you harm. That’s movie stuff.”

Speaking of Hollywood’s depiction, Sirry shared a modest reminder that “not all TV mediums are the best mediums” and be sure to avoid those that try to sell you products, come from an online chatroom, or charge by the minute. Reality shows about psychics and mediums can be tricky to understand. What is the difference between a psychic and a medium? Sirry is both, but that is not the case for everyone. “Everyone is born psychic. It's that intuition that we’re given. It's just the expansion of the mind and sending images. Then there’s people that develop the skill even further. [A psychic] does a reading the person of the present time, past, and the future. Once they’ve established the present and past, they can actually go into the future and read off your energy. They can sort of visualize a screen behind you. They can see the past, present, and future.” When asked if she can predict events in her own life, Sirry explained that she’d get these thoughts randomly. Like “I wonder how I would respond to a hit and run or being hit by the side. Then it happened. I saw it about 2 weeks beforehand.”

So “everyone is born psychic, but not everyone is born a medium.” When asked if her natural abilities surprised her, she answered, “I had them all along but I suppressed them because as a kid I was bullied [because of the red hair]. I would always have it, I would always know things, and I would always dream things.” If only she had predicted herself being a world-known medium and psychic one day with hundreds of supporters. “There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious. But being ambitious with kindness is crucial.” With the grace of Ginny Weasley, the signature red curls of Pixar’s princess Merida, and the instinctual familiarity of a close friend, I can confidently vouch that Sirry Berndsen is a certified gift on Earth.


With love and light,

We thank you, Sirry.