By GRACE GOLDONI
As someone who bills herself as a “spiritual intuitive counselor” and professes to hear angels talking in languages she doesn’t speak, Lenore Dinger might defy expectations.
She looks, quite frankly, like the average mom she is. Seated at a small table in closet-sized room where she counsels clients at Earth Spirit new age store on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, she’s more likely to wear a denim shirt than a peasant dress. Her hair, simply cut, is free of dreamcatchers and swirling silks. There’s no crystal ball on the table.
Nor, she says, does she just make stuff up to seem all-knowing.
“I don’t play that game that a lot of psychics out there play,” said Dinger. “I don’t want it played on me, and I don’t play it on people.”
Meet the seer who admits that she doesn’t always see. When it comes to insights into a client’s past lives, or guidance on the future, Dinger said, “if I don’t know, I’m going to tell you I don’t know.”
Dinger has traveled a long way from her conventional Roman Catholic upbringing to a life filled with shamanism, tarot readings, crystal therapy, astrology, past lives and psychometry, or the ability to discern the past by ‘reading’ inanimate objects.
“I never set out to do this,” said Dinger.
Raised in a typical middle class family, Dinger said she grew up attending Sunday mass. But throughout her childhood, she said, she had encounters with what she would later recognize as spirits.
“As a kid, I would hear people talking in another room, and there would be nobody there,” she said. “I would hear furniture moving in the basement when I was home all by myself.
“The kicker for me,” she adds, was that the family dog appeared to hear the same things. “Whenever I would hear these things, Max’s ears would go up, too,” she said.
Nevertheless, she disregarded these seemingly paranormal encounters, seeking meaning as a Catholic and, for nearly two decades, a member of the independent Baptist Church. But both left her unsettled.
At a weekly meditation class in Keyport, mainly consisting of prayers for protection and blessing, Dinger said, she began to have experiences echoing her paranormal encounters in childhood.
“During these meditations, I would feel like somebody was sitting next to me and talking to me,” she said. “It sounds corny, but I say spirits came to get me.”
Initially shocked and puzzled, Dinger said her doubts began to vanish once her peers— educated individuals from all walks of life, including doctors, anesthesiologists, ministers, and even priests — attested to the legitimacy of what she was experiencing. She began to believe, she said, that there was more to meditation than silence, prayer, and relaxation.
Later, at a class on psychic development, Dinger was introduced to astrology, tarot, and psychometry.
“I was very good at that,” Dinger declares. “I’d always get it 100-percent right.”
Still, there were times when she questioned this path she found herself on, and wondered if she had simply lost her mind.
“One day,” Dinger tells, “while I was driving, I prayed to God: If what I’m doing is stupid and I’m really just losing my mind, please give me a sign. And if what I’m doing is right, please give me a sign.” Then, “within seconds,” she recounts, “I had one hawk fly in from my left, and another from my right, so close to the front of my car that I picked my foot up off the gas and hit the brakes. That’s how close they came, from two different directions. To me, it was a double in-your-face sign.”
Dinger said she identifies mostly closely with Shamanism, an earth and animal-based spirituality that maintainss there is a life and spirit in absolutely everything – even crystals and stones. She often uses crystal therapy with clients who are sick or in need of healing.
“Most, if not all, illnesses of the physical body are caused from illness in our sense of spirituality,” she insists. “Understanding this correlation determines what color crystal or stone you need. Lots of practitioners do stone healing to balance out the body’s energy.”
Crystal therapy is just one of the various features Dinger incorporates into her multi-dimensional psychic readings at Earth Spirit. She also embraces angels and past lives, and incorporates Gnosticism, an old biblical term meaning hidden knowledge, as well as Theosophy, a term referring to numerous philosophies maintaining that knowledge of God may be achieved through spiritual ecstasy, direct intuition, or special individual relations. Dinger simply defines Theosophy as “keeping an open mind.”
She said she’s fully aware that many people are not so open minded when it comes to these seemingly cryptic, New Age, spiritual ideas. When skeptics confront her, Dinger said she responds with the following statement: “I honor your opinion. I honor what you believe. All I ask is for you to keep an open mind. I’m not asking you to buy it. I’m asking you to think about it.”
“I can’t force my belief on anybody. I wont do that,” she said. “I tell everybody, even people who ask me to connect to a loved one that’s passed, that I will try. I am not an invasive psychic. I do not demand. I do not conjure up somebody’s grandma to talk to them. That’s not what I’m about.”
So what exactly is a reading with Dinger about? For her, it all boils down to trust:
“Trusting spirit, trusting what I feel, and trusting what I sense. I’ll hear things and I’ll think, this is crazy, am I crazy? But I just have to trust spirit. And when I tell a client what it is I heard, it always makes sense to them.”
“I once had a client’s angel say something to be in a different language that I didn’t understand, and I repeated it, having no idea what it means. And my client cracked up laughing, knowing what it meant, and said, ‘my grandma used to say that all the time.’”
Though she has been giving readings for over 40 years, Dinger says that for the first 30 years or so, she did not see it as a passion or calling. She only did it as a job, simply because she happened to have the ability to do it. It is only in the past three years that Dinger has recognized this as her life’s purpose.
“If I were a millionaire,” she says, “I’d still do this.”
But what is “this,” really? Labeling Dinger’s occupation, considering the various elements that constitute what she does, can be tricky business. Asked how she replies to questions like, “What is it you do for work?” “What’s your job?” “What do you do?” without hesitation, she replied:
“I just be me.”