Mandie Stevenson was recently at a Starbucks when she noticed an older woman, about 80, quietly reading a newspaper. “I saw her husband’s spirit beside her, his hand on her back,” Stevenson recalls. “He was whispering something in her ear, desperately trying to get her attention. I went up and said to her, ‘I know you’ll think I’m crazy, but I want you to know your husband is here and he’s really trying to connect with you to let you know he’s OK. He wants you to know that he loves you.’
“The woman burst into tears. Her husband had passed away a month earlier.”
These interactions are common for Stevenson, a Lewes-based psychic medium, witch and healer who describes her abilities as both “a gift and a curse.” Since she was a small child, she remembers communicating with spirit guides and other occult interests that made her feel “different, weird.” Her family, especially her mother, offered punishment rather than support, forcing Stevenson to hide these abilities that impeded a “normal” life. Or so she thought.
“It actually made things worse, because I felt something was wrong with me—I couldn’t be my authentic self,” she says, noting how struggles with self-acceptance led to substance abuse and harmful relationships. But memories of joyful summers spent in Virginia with her grandmother— who embraced Stevenson’s empathic spirit and whom she’d watch make manifestation jars and conjure spells—helped Stevenson realize her power to help others. (“I think she might’ve also been a witch,” Stevenson notes.)
“I stopped caring what people thought,” she says, her dark, edgy style softened by warm brown eyes. “I decided it was time to embrace my gifts and use them for good.”
A primary mission is to educate people about Wicca and witches—mainly, that neither is evil, and do, in fact, advocate for good in society. “We’re PTA moms and community service workers, and we don’t ride brooms,” Stevenson points out. (But she does have 13 rescue cats.)
Another important goal for Stevenson—a mother of three and grandmother of two—is to help parents with children who have past-life regressions, or psychic or intuitive gifts, so they don’t feel ostracized. “Often times these children are misdiagnosed as having mental disorders and are medicated. They’re not bipolar or schizophrenic, they are just different—and we need to embrace them,” she asserts.
Stevenson has also worked with several children in Delaware. “I’ve had more calls from parents recently, saying their kids are remembering past lives or talking to someone who’s not there,” Stevenson explains. She believes “gifted” children are being brought back in higher numbers now because we’re going to need them in the world we’ve created.
One such child is 5-year-old Ellie, who has memories of being on what her mother and Stevenson both believe was the Titanic. “She told us that she was wearing a long white dress, and that other women had long dresses and the men had bow ties,” Stevenson shares. Ellie heard people screaming as her mother swept her up from the bed, out of a deep sleep. “She said people were running and crying,” Stevenson continues. “She remembers being in a boat and shaking in fear and cold, then her mother telling her to close her eyes. …How do you explain this from a child who’s never learned anything about the Titanic?”
When Stevenson’s abilities evolved into her passion, she began providing readings—over the phone, in coffee shops, at parties—and her popularity in the community soon demanded a purple brick-and-mortar on Kings Highway where Stevenson could also offer such novelties as healing crystals and herbs, spell candles and informational books. She also hosts educational workshops touching on various topics, from empathic personalities to shielding. (She’s four chapters into a memoir reflecting on her experiences and extensive teachings too.)
Recently, Mandie’s Magical Marketplace opened a second location (North) in Pike Creek, boasting expanded metaphysical retail—plus bohemian clothing—as well as psychic, medium, tarot and tea-leaf readings; cord cutting; and past-life regression from 15 trusted readers. With it, Stevenson is also bringing her well-known Full Moon Gatherings from the Delaware beaches to New Castle County, which draws hundreds who come for sound healing and restorative energy, and to throw a wish into the bonfire.
“My goal is to grow the store beyond the state,” Stevenson says. The first place that comes to mind is Luray, Virginia, a healing, mountainous region that’s special to her family. In the meantime, she’s hyper-focused on the educational part of work—spreading her magic, one course at a time.