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Out of the Psychic Closet

The Quest to Trust My True Nature

Toby Fesler Heathcotte




You picked up this book probably because you've struggled to understand some unsettling occurrence in your life, maybe one named in the table of contents.

Most of the experiences described here happened to me or to people I know and trust. We don't have any special credentials. We're ordinary people who've had uncommon experiences.

For many years mine scared me. I wish a book like this had been available for me to read then because my fear diminished my psychic abilities. However, having acknowledged my fear--with it "up front and labeled," as William Faulkner advised--I shall now set it aside, for I want to write objectively for my readers, without my fear weighing on me, skewing my words.

I don't pretend to have had all the experiences I've written about in these pages, but I've had many, enough to understand the process involved in coming to terms with them. I like to think of myself as normal, just as I'm sure you think of yourself as normal, too. That's hard to remember when people look at me like I'm crazy. Or when I think, I must be nuts!

After much research and introspection, I came to this conclusion: Normal people sometimes know things that they can't possibly know. That's when gooseflesh races along our arms and legs, alerting us that we're in touch with a mighty power.

You and I might both have the same experiences. The only difference between us is that I'm reckless enough to write about mine. In fact, it's the writing craft that gave me the idea for this book. Not long ago, I published a novel called Alison's Legacy about an innkeeper in the eighteenth century. She has a psychic friend who can see the past in a blazing fireplace and also has an uncanny flair for showing up when the heroine is in jeopardy.

To promote the novel, I arranged a book signing in the library of a neighboring town, Scottsdale. Eight people showed up. My Glendale librarian said she'd host me, but she'd have to fit me into a series on New Age topics. Could I speak about psychic events in our lives? I agreed. Eighty people showed up.

That large turnout convinced me that most people prefer to explore their own psychic potential rather than read about the abilities of some fictional character. They want a narrative that they can relate to, that they can interpret as being of relevance to themselves; they want to read about experiences that touch their own lives, experiences in which they have a personal interest, perhaps because they have been in similar situations themselves, or perhaps because something similar has happened to their friends or relatives. They want to identify. And so I have written this book about myself… about us.

The text appears in two parts. The first tells how psychic experiences happened to me. You can compare where your story and mine intersect. The second part includes research, history, other people's stories, and comments on what's worked and what hasn't in my own search to make sense of the paranormal. Resources follow each section in the second part along with books and websites for further research in case you want to follow up in depth. You'll also find an index at the end of the book to help you shuttle around.

Out of the Psychic Closet isn't necessarily a validation of your paranormal events. We all have to look to the integrity of our own hearts and minds for that. But, when you finish reading, I hope you too will step proudly out of the psychic closet, your consternation transformed into awe and your fear into gratitude for living in the flow and sharing the interconnectedness of the universe.

Toby Fesler Heathcotte
Glendale, Arizona




Part One

How it happened to me

Psychic awareness seems to happen to us, makes an indelible imprint on our memories, and throws our worldviews into chaos. The experiences provoke reassessment of who we are, what our capabilities are, and what impact others will have on us.

With nurturing, psychic awareness can grow and help us live our lives in rewarding and insightful ways. Without nurturing, we struggle against ourselves.




Chapter One

Witness to Another World



Now, I know I'm not crazy, but I spent years trying to believe what people told me was the truth and trying even harder not to believe what I knew within myself was real.

Maybe I'd started on that path by the age of three. Sleet bit my face. My bare arms felt numb in the cold air. "Wait, Daddy!" I screamed and staggered across our backyard away from our house toward my grandparents' house in Ovid, Indiana.

Daddy's jacket billowed when he turned toward me and opened the screen door. "Go back home."

Hurrying to him, I slipped and fell on frozen grass.

He let go of the door. It clattered as he dashed down the steps and engulfed me in his arms. "You can't go in there."

"Why not?"

He bit down on his quivering lip. "Grandpa's dead."

"What dead, Daddy?" I sobbed. "What dead?"

It turned out to be something awful. "Dead" took Grandpa away; then a few weeks later it took Grandma too. Where did they go? Why did they leave us alone? I was scared.

Daddy and Mother acted sad. The next summer they sold both houses, and we moved to Pendleton, a town five miles away. I missed Grandma and Grandpa, but I felt glad that I got to see my other grandparents, Mom and Pop Crosley, a lot more.

One day Mother and Daddy took me to stay with Mom at the Crosley house. Mother looked very pretty in her blue dress with the fluffy peplum around the middle, but her face looked like she had a bellyache from eating too many green apples. Daddy held her waist. Their footsteps made hollow sounds as they walked off the porch.

Mother called back, "Don't worry. I'll be all right."

I loved to stay with Mom Crosley because she told me stories about her family and sang songs in her deep, trembling voice. Not today. She folded her arms over her starched gingham dress and paced around the dining room table. The shiny wooden floor creaked beneath her soft slippers.

I sat at the table where we ate fried chicken every Sunday and tried to fold dress tabs on paper dolls. The grandfather clock ticked loudly. "Is Mother sick?"

"We don't know. We'll just have to wait and see." Mom nibbled a mint from the cut-glass bowl. "She's got a baby inside her, and it might be sick."

After a long time Daddy brought Mother back. I thought she would bring the baby with her, but she didn't. I felt happy anyway. I didn't want her to go away anymore.

Many times, I went with Daddy to the little graveyard across the road from a country church. We never went inside. He mowed the grass while I sat on a tombstone and played with my dolls. In the fall, I picked dead blooms off the magenta peonies Daddy had planted beside the graves of Grandma and Grandpa. Nearby lay Daddy's brother who died as a baby and a sister dead at the age of ten. I tried to picture the children, lying beneath the earth in their little boxes. I felt afraid for them.

Daddy didn't cry as he told me about his family. He said we had to keep their resting places nice. That way we could show our love. Some other people's graves had high grass on them. A few had overgrown weeds, the tombstones cracked and broken. I wondered why no one loved those people.

The summer I turned six, my parents took me to a rodeo where my dad bought an all-black Shetland pony named Rocket. We took the backseat out of our 1941 Chevrolet, squeezed the pony in, and drove home with him whinnying or nibbling our hair all the way.

Ostensibly Daddy bought Rocket for me and my little sister, Trena, who was born the same summer, but he treated the pony like his own pet. He taught the pony to stand up on his hind legs and to drink grape soda from a bottle. He let us feed Rocket sugar cubes, apples, and potato peelings with salt on them. Rocket tried to bite the buttons off everyone's shirts and gulped down Daddy's Lucky Strike cigarettes. That pony had some poor nutrition habits.

My dad raised hunting dogs and fed any cat that wandered by, but Rocket was my special pet. Daddy taught me to drive a sulky in summer and a sleigh in winter. I gave the other children rides two at a time.

One of my best friends in the neighborhood was Marcia Stoner. By second grade, she and I had acquired two passions--roller skating and Brownie Scouts. Our mothers took turns giving us rides.

Just my size and very pretty, Marcia had long blond curls with a ribbon. I wore a bow in my black hair. New Year's Eve, instead of going skating as we had planned, Marcia visited relatives with her aunt and uncle. In those days before seat belts, she lay asleep in the backseat on the way home late on a snowy Indiana night.

A car driven by a drunk driver hit them. On impact Marcia flew out the back window. All her major bones broke, and her skull fractured.

Two days later, Marcia lay in a casket lined with pink rosebuds for the viewing in her family's living room. She wore the brown uniform of a beginner scout. I gazed at her, horrified, imagining all the broken bones I couldn't see. Her mother sobbed beside my mother and me. Others sat about, whispering and crying, including Marcia's two little sisters and several neighbors.

Because Marcia couldn't, I vowed that day never to go through the ceremony that conferred the right to wear the green uniform of a full-fledged Girl Scout.

At the funeral in the stone-walled Methodist church, I refused to go down to the altar to look at her again. The organist played the strains of Brahms' Lullaby, which sounded ugly to me at the time. The stench of hothouse gladiolas and roses blended with the musty smell of carpet soggy from snow boots. Nauseated, I sat on a wooden pew and cried.

In the weeks that followed, Mother encouraged me to play with other children, but I missed Marcia and kept to myself.

One sunny day, warm enough that the ground had thawed and started to green, I lay in my backyard, watching soft, white clouds move across a gray sky. The scent of first cherry blossoms carried on the air.

Suddenly Marcia appeared on a large cloud. Her curls bobbed over the side as she leaned down and grinned at me. Funny, she didn't wear a hair ribbon, but the impish voice sounded just like hers. "Hi."

I scrambled up and shouted, "Marcia, is that you?"

"Yes, this is a good place. I'm having fun here." Marcia turned away from me and disappeared into the cloud.

I went tearing into the house. "Mother, Mother?" I found her shelling peas in the kitchen. I shouted, "I saw Marcia. She's alive up in heaven, and she said she's all right!"

‘Now, Toby," Mother said as she set down the colander. Her pretty face looked sad. "You know Marcia can't talk to you. You're just imagining that."

Her words didn't make sense. How could I see Marcia if she wasn't there? How could I hear her?

Mother hugged me. Her body felt skinny now and her hug warm, but I remembered before my sister's birth how Mother's hugs had felt awkward over the huge mound of her stomach.

A memory clicked in my mind, and I asked, "What happened to that other baby?"

Mother's pale green eyes clouded with some emotion I didn't understand. "There wasn't any other baby. You must be thinking of something else." Mother sighed as she straightened my hair bow. "Why don't you go find out if some of the other kids can play?"

I trudged outside and started up the gravel alley. Mom Crosley and I were wrong about the other baby. If there had been one, Mother would have told me. Now she said I had not seen Marcia, and so, obviously, I was wrong about that, too--even though Marcia on the cloud looked as clear and real to me as when she sat next to me in school. I'd believed she was there--but it seemed I had been mistaken.

If I ever saw Marcia again, I would know it was my mind playing a trick on me. I'd make her go away, and I would definitely never tell anyone. When people are dead, they are gone forever.

Later that summer, Daddy and I took peonies for Marcia to the big cemetery in Pendleton with all the graves mowed and tidy. I felt glad to know that Marcia was still loved even though she was dead. I stood silently there and didn't talk to her. What would have been the point? Marcia wouldn't hear me, anyway.


A partial list of contents.

Chapter One
Near-death Experiences

Chapter Two
Déjà Vu

Chapter Three

Chapter Four
Earth Mysteries
Spirit Guides

Chapter Five
Past Life Memories
Psychic Development Tools

Additional chapters explore Astral Projection, Auras, Remote Viewing, Spirit Guides and much more...


Out of the Psychic Closet Copyright © 2009. Toby Fesler Heathcotte. All rights reserved by the author. Please do not copy without permission.



Author Bio

At the age of seven, Toby lost her best friend, Marcia, in a car accident. Three months later, Marcia peeked over a cloud and said she liked her new world. Toby's family dismissed the episode as mere imagination, and she grew up distrusting her own perceptions.

Unable to reconcile this and other psychic experiences, such as precognitive dreams and seeing astral forms of people, she became a lifelong student of the paranormal. Her personal library contains over four decades of volumes from Bridey Murphy and J. B. Rhine in the Sixties to current studies by the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the American Society for Psychical Research. Her dream journals span the same time period and serve as resources for her life and work.

Repeated psychic experiences forced Toby to learn some coping strategies. She sat in development groups and experimented with techniques like psychometry, automatic writing, and dream analysis. As she came to terms with her nature, she wanted to share what she'd learned to help others with any self-doubt or concerns about their sanity.

Toby taught high school speech and drama and college English. Now her primary interests rest in understanding her psychic abilities and writing projects that incorporate that learning. A mother of two and grandmother of three, Toby lives in Arizona where she serves as president of Arizona Authors Association.

She is the author of several novels including a reincarnation series entitled "The Alma Chronicles” as well as two textbooks, "Program Building: A Practical Guide for High School Speech and Drama Teachers" and "Seeds for Fertile Minds: Eight Curriculum Integration Tools” with Betty Joy.

Author web site.

TTB title: Out of the Psychic Closet: The Quest to Trust My True Nature


To order this book:

Format: PDF, HTML, Palm,   pdf arc available now.
    Payment Method
PayPal -or- Credit Card -or- eReader -or- Fictionwise -or- OmniLit -or- Sony eBookstore
List Price: $6.50 USD

Format: Trade Paperback
    Available now!
Order this book via check or credit card  
~ or visit ~ Amazon;;  Barnes & Noble  Borders;  Indy Bookstores
List Price: $16.95 USD


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