An Interview with Penney
Read an interview on Cari Vollmer's site: Passion into Profit.
tell us about your background — what forces shaped you as you
For years I wouldn't say the word "God" because I didn't know what it meant—I just couldn't believe God was an old man with a white beard on a throne in the sky. I mused about why wars were fought over religion, and decided I would find the core truths that were present in every religion—and THAT would be what I would believe! My mother was a proponent of reincarnation, which made perfect sense to me. My father was the son of a Baptist minister, and had been forced to go to church until he felt suffocated by it. So early on, he told my mother, "Let the girl decide for herself about God."
I grew up with a strong connection to nature and animals. As a child I communicated with my pets (dogs, cats, lizards, horses, mice, fish, sheep, and goats) telepathically, and lived for many years in a country setting where I was befriended by old farmers and horsemen. I spent many hours alone looking out from bluffs, hilltops, and tree branches, or cozied up next to streams or in temple-like spaces in the woods. At the same time I was enthralled with art. I drew endlessly and had inexplicable urges to write poems. I've kept a journal since I was seven and won a National Scholastic Magazine writing award in junior high. I also began remembering my dreams and talking about them quite early, a habit that continues today.
When I was thirteen I awoke from a "dream"
about 3 am and got up, went to my desk, drew out a diagram of the "space-time
continuum," and wrote a detailed explanation of how the drawing
explained reincarnation, psychic ability, and time travel. Then I went
back to bed. In the morning, I was flabbergasted. This was the first
of many graphic "teaching diagrams" that have poured through
me—and many of them are now in my books.
How did your formal education contribute to
your intuitive ability?
Still hungry for knowledge about "environmental design," I got a scholarship to an intriguing program called Social Design at Disney's brand new "dream school," California Institute of the Arts, north of Los Angeles. In this program, which was taught by an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, sociologists, urban planners, and various kinds of designers and photographers, we concentrated on projects like: redesign the elevator so people will talk to each other inside, redesign the funeral, or the doctor-patient relationship, and we looked at questions like "What affects does advertising have on the mass consciousness?" This training taught me an incredible amount about working with patterns and "design thinking." After that, I studied graphic design and learned how to symbolize bodies of information clearly, how to sum up an idea as a logo or use typefaces that conveyed subtle states of emotion.
I credit my training in two- and three-dimensional design, as well as the abstract thinking skills I learned in social design, with helping me eventually discern the hidden patterns in people's lives. There certainly was no official training for becoming a professional intuitive then—in fact no such animal even existed! But somehow the soul finds the perfect path into whatever expression it needs. I feel I've learned that firsthand—and, that you can get anywhere from here. . .
How did your intuitive abilities develop after
My relentless search for truth and the hidden mysteries caused me to probe deeper and deeper into what is real, and not be too attached to the temporary mindsets we use to stabilize ourselves. What are the core principles and experiences that are common to all people? This led me to study the dynamics of perception itself, because I saw that the problems and suffering we experience are the result of "mistakes" in perception. When I first heard about the Buddhist concept of "skillful perception"—using our awareness to create more harmony in ourselves and the world, rather than adding to the pain and suffering that already exists—I secretly cheered, "YES!"
What led you to become a professional intuitive?
I worked closely for four years with trance medium Kevin Ryerson, as his business manager and co-presenter. I became affiliated with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove's Intuition Network and The Center for the Study of Conscious Evolution which included the founders of Findhorn, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Susan Campbell, and other leading edge thinkers. Then I joined the staff of The Center for Applied Intuition, founded by Dr. William Kautz, a scientist from SRI International, who developed a technique called "intuitive consensus" to use intuitives for scientific research. It was through this organization that I first traveled to Japan to teach and counsel, a connection that has continued for over twenty years.
This was a time when I felt I was remembering old knowledge I'd had in previous lives, honing my consciousness skills once again, and synthesizing my own comprehensive world view—one that would apply to the challenges of today. I learned a tremendous amount from doing tens of thousands of "life readings"—and everything confirmed for me the true sanity of the soul, the reality of reincarnation, and the compassionate nature of the divine.
Did you do anything special to increase your
I meditated daily and focused on opening, balancing, and clearing my chakras and the subtle energy in my body, working with an image of diamond light, which I equated with the vibration of my soul. I filled and replaced opaque energy with glossy clear transparent energy. I kept a journal and wrote every day, documenting the things I saw in meditation, my dreams, what I felt energetically, how I related to life experiences and what I might be learning from them, and what was going on just under the surface of my awareness.
I also asked myself questions and answered them with "direct writing"—questions like "What is right livelihood? Or, "What is prayer?" I found that there was a wise part of me, an inner teacher, who answered these questions with amazing insights. Basically, I subjected everything in my life to examination, and tried to face my fears and work through places where I experienced avoidance behaviors. I practiced looking for the soul in others, and actively tried to understand the true motivations underneath petty behaviors in others that upset me. I wrote quite a bit of poetry as well, walked in nature, and gardened.
What do you like most and least about being
a professional intuitive?
What I like least about this work is the way some people are still uncomfortable with me when they learn I work with intuition. It's as though they think I can see some terrible hidden secret they have and that I will judge them for it. Of course, that's not the way intuition works—I only see what the other person's soul shows me, and along with the foibles I see the gifts-in-the-garbage. To me, it's all very positive. Making this subject palatable, popular, and normal is a big part of what I do, yet wouldn't it be great if that were no longer necessary and we could all just get on with USING intuition productively?
What or how do you see when you give a reading
to a client?
Penney, what is your leading edge right now?
So, I'm trying to dissolve the false and validate the real. It's a daily and nightly process, since much of the old fear-based flotsam and jetsam comes up at night when the will-powered linear mind stops pushing forward. I'd say my themes right now are:
I am intrigued with the dynamics of the soul—things like the mechanics of reincarnation, and how truly complex and multidimensional it is. As always, I am fascinated by the differences in the way people perceive reality—different cultures, generations, soul groups. My most recent fascination is partly about the way people are processing information, learning, and functioning in today's superficial, highspeed, overstimulating world. It is especially challenging to help catalyze full integration of body, emotion, mind, and spirit when our attention spans are so short. These are exciting times, yes—AND, very challenging times. I think it's important to see everything as a movement of energy that's moving another part of the energy field. Nothing stands apart from the whole anymore, nothing is good or bad.
Perhaps the greatest use of intuition now is to fall through the false realities of the old mind (based on fear) into the REAL experience of the soul, what I'm now calling our "home frequency." We must do it again and again. So that is where I'm aiming most of my attention now. And, as a result of writing Frequency, I've become deeply immersed in the practice of "personal energy management," and working with "frequency principles" and personal vibration. This is a whole new field of endeavor that I know is going to become extremely popular and pervasive. And it will definitely change the world. It's SO exciting!