At 3 p.m. each Wednesday, the spirit world focuses its energy on the studios of WWJB-AM 1450 in downtown Brooksville.
Phyllis Golden, radio psychic, is on the air.
Golden reads auras, looks into the future, helps people find lost objects and probes their past lives. Since February, she has been dispensing advice over the airwaves.
Golden enters the station's office in a burst of energy, with a smile and a hug for everyone. She is wearing a bright blue pantsuit with purple and green flowers, bright pink lipstick and metallic gold-and-sliver woven shoes. She recently returned from visiting her daughters in Arizona, and proudly displays pictures of her 18-month-old granddaughter to anyone who will look.
An hour later, Golden races down the hallway and sits at a desk in front of a large microphone covered with bright orange foam. On the other side sits WWJB host Bob Haa, who also is her next-door neighbor in Spring Hill.
Haa's job is to announce the phone number _ 796-7272 _ and invite people to call. He also jumps in occasionally to keep the show moving.
"We have a really good time," Golden says.
The calls line up
The phone lines light up within a minute _ one, two, then three callers on hold.
The first caller wants to know if she will sell her house soon and buy the smaller house she has always wanted. She says her house has been on the market for a year without success.
Golden tells her fear is keeping her from selling her house. "You're terrified you're not going to have another home," she says.
The next caller, a 17-year-old girl, wants to know if she'll get a well-paying job in the near future. Golden tells her to consider secretarial school, because she has a talent for it.
"I was thinking about that," the caller says.
The third caller asks why she is so moody. "I don't think it's just a female thing," the caller says.
Golden tells her to eat chocolate, because her blood sugar is low. She says the caller doesn't eat often enough.
"Try the eating first. Give us a call next week and let us know if it helps," Golden says.
A fourth woman calls on Golden to help find two lost diamond rings.
"Did you just look at your hand one day and they were gone?" Haa asks the caller.
Golden removes her glasses. She stares straight ahead past Haa through the studio window all the way up Jefferson Street.
Haa interrupts to give Golden time to mentally go through the woman's house. "She's been all through your drawers now and you should be ashamed of yourself," he says.
After a minute or two, Golden says the rings are in a pouch in a drawer somewhere.
The caller hangs up to look.
"Let us know how it comes out," Haa says.
In half an hour, Golden has done her best to solve all four callers' problems.
Actually, Golden says, she can't take the credit. It was her spirit guides who did all the work. Golden says she gets information from spirits who talk through her as if she were a ventriloquist's dummy.
"I don't really hear it first. I just end up talking," she says.
She can get vibes over the phone, face to face or on the radio _ as long as she can hear the person's voice. She doesn't need to touch objects, but she says she can read impressions from things other people have touched, such as tea leaves or tarot cards.
She says she is not a palm reader, an astrologer or a fortune teller. And she doesn't like to be tested.
"I don't read minds. I don't read palms. But if you ask me a question, my spirit guides will answer," she says.
On the ring finger of her right hand is a clump of unpolished amethyst crystals. More stones line her watch and adorn a bracelet on her left arm. Their purpose: to focus energy.
"Amethysts are real good for psychics," Golden says.
Most of the callers are women. Golden says the most frequent questions callers ask are about money and relationships: Will they meet Mr. Right? She likes to talk to them awhile, she says, to feel their energy.
"There's an actual feel to your energy pattern, whether you're approachable, unapproachable," she says.
A familiar voice calls and wants to talk about her health.
She is not feeling well.
"I have pain in my shoulder and pain in my lower back with you _ and I just went to the chiropractor, so I know it's not mine," she says.
She stretches her arms out in front of her. "The sides of your neck are real sore," she says, rubbing her own neck as if she shares the caller's pain.
She tells the woman to see a chiropractor and offers to recommend one. Another problem solved, another question answered.
Golden, a New York native, came to Spring Hill three years ago. For 18 months, she gave readings for $5 a shot outdoors in the sweltering heat at Howard's Flea Market in Homosassa.
Now, besides the radio show, Golden consults with businesses and gives private readings for individuals.
She also works for Dionne Warwick's Psychic Friends hot line at least five nights a week. (That's the one you often see advertised on late-night TV.)
Among her other credits, Golden says she has helped police find people. But she doesn't like working with law enforcement agencies because most of the people they seek have bad karma, she says.
"It gets me very emotional."
Some questions she won't answer, such as when someone will die. "I'm not a death psychic at all. I want to put positive energy out," she says.
Others questions she can't answer, she says: "I have no way of knowing whether people will win the lottery or not."
Only once has she failed to read someone, she says, although sometimes her spirit guides won't let her share what she feels. For example, she won't help find someone who doesn't want to be found.
"There's not a lot of people you can't read," she says. "But there are many times you can't give information."
As an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church, Golden can legally perform marriages, funerals and baptisms. Her business cards include the title "reverend" and identify her as a spiritual counselor. She says that's to protect her from fundamentalist Christians who don't like psychics.
Golden takes the counselor part seriously. She sees her role as teaching people, not telling them what to do.
"That's what I tell people: Anything I tell you is not set in stone. It can change," she says. "Whatever happens, you did. I have nothing to do with it."