I recently had the pleasure to photograph intuitive counselor and astrologer Melinda Peterson in Pocatello, Idaho. I was fascinated by how this yogic philosopher ended up in such a conservative as well as Mormon town. Turns out she was raised Mormon in Salt Lake City, only two hours south of Pocatello.
Her mother held very deep spiritual beliefs of her own though, beliefs she did not necessarily share with her church friends.
"My mother appeared to be very conservative. But, there were almost two sides of my mother. She had the friends that knew her as the Mormon housewife raising children and then there were the other friends she had that were the mystics, the psychics, and the people that did yoga."
In fact, it was an Indian doctor that was staying at their home that told her mother she would have a gifted child in terms of psychic abilities.
"For me I wasn't predicting the future, I was just stating what I knew about what was happening or was about to happen in my physical reality and I was very accurate."
She realized early on that the church she was being raised in was not exactly open or receptive to her abilities. She recounted a story to me about telling her bishop when she was 9 or 10 about the visions and the dreams she would have that would come true. He looked at her and pronounced that she couldn't be telling the truth because only men could hold the priesthood, that what she was experiencing must clearly be coming from the devil or that she was fooling herself.
She says, "And I remember that triggering something at the very core of my being...that made me say look buddy you think you have all the answers, I don't care how old you are or what you believe, you're wrong. So there was a severing that happened in terms of the ability of the church to indoctrinate me into their belief systems."
While listening to her story, I found it really hard to believe this woman was living in the very conservative and out of the way town of Pocatello, Idaho. The short answer is that being in Pocatello allowed her the peace and quiet to raise a new son. On a trip to nearby Lava Hot Springs, she found herself exhausted from her work and commitments and the challenges of raising a new life. While there, she felt guided to go to Pocatello and things seemed to fall into place for her there. Even now, though, things change and move and there might be new places the Spirit tells her to jump.