Jimmie Bay is the definition of an underdog. He was raised in Paulsboro, in South Jersey, and was born two months premature with multiple health issues. With a close call with death at birth, life was not always easy. However, after an encounter with his deceased grandmother, Jimmie began to realize he was gifted.
Over time, Jimmie fine-tuned his craft, which led to him performing palm readings at Woody’s in Philadelphia on a regular basis. He credits Bill Wood, Larry Kleppinger, and Steven Huey for opening the doors for him. Through word of mouth, Jimmie gained an instant following, and lines would form at Woody’s. After reading as a side career from 2000 through 2010, thereafter it became his primary occupation, and today the 47-year-old reads locals in Laurel Springs as well as dozens of national and international clients via phone and the web.
When did you realize you were gifted?
Jimmie Bay: Getting into this business had a lot to do with the way I was born. I was born two months premature, a footling breech, with a detached placenta along with scoliosis. I ended up with hip dysplasia and a leg discrepancy. I feel this played a role in my psychic gifts. I think there are some people who are meant to do this according to the death-at-birth philosophy, given mine was a close call. When I was around nine my great-grandmother, Frances Polson, died. She babysat us every day and taught me astrology at age four. Following her death, I was sick and woke up to her at the foot of my bed. It was a full-frontal vision that I never had prior.
I asked her what she was doing here, and she told me she was watching me. After speaking with her I screamed for my mother, who reassured me she was watching over me and was not going to hurt me. This laid the groundwork for everything. I did not come from a religious or spiritual background. At 19 I began reading palmistry books which led to me naturally reading palms. During my teens, I thought I was schizophrenic. However, I learned to trust the voice of my higher self and began reading palms, candle wax, tarot, and ashes as my clairaudience also grew stronger. Since then, my gifts have grown, and I would say my strongest gift is clairaudience. I hear spirits more than I see them. To be specific, I hear them as though I were having a conversation.
At what point in time did you decide to make it a business?
JB: I would have to give that up to Rosalie Zappasodi-Bernaudo. I met Rosalie, a tarot card reader in Philadelphia, through a colleague of mine. I went to her, she told me I was meant to do this work, and I would be known as the gay palm reader. Thereafter I would read every one I could including homeless people. In 2000 this led to me reading the staff at Woody’s bar in Philadelphia, who booked me for Thursday and Friday nights. I became known as “Jimmie the palmist — the best hand job in town.” At the time it was $15 for fifteen minutes and I ended up getting lines of people.
My career organically built itself. I did not know this is what I wanted to do, I kind of fell into it. Rosalie was my main mentor who taught me a lot about prayer, meditation, discipline, faith in myself, documenting my dreams, and learning to trust my messages, signs, and gifts. I feel there is a misunderstanding with psychic teaching because people want to learn divination and Rosalie did not teach me that. What Rosalie taught me is how to discover and explore my own gifts.
From 2000 to 2010 I primarily performed palmistry. However, in 2010 I ended up with another disability and thereafter began performing more psychic work, which grew exponentially onward. This work went from side hustle to my main career because I started picking up momentum. Most of my business is word of mouth.
Your career took a turn from palmistry to clairvoyance. Would you say the work you do now is primarily remote than in person? Moreover, has clairvoyance taken priority over palmistry?
JB: Absolutely! Mediumship and clairvoyance have taken over. I do a lot of remote work. I read many people who live nationally and internationally. If I read someone in person, I will read their palms, however, I will say the mediumship has taken over.
What are people coming to you most for currently?
JB: I would have to say I have been seeing clients dealing with a lot of relationship issues, soul work, how to get over obstacles, and many who are dealing with the deceased. In my mid to late 30s, I started to get more into mediumship. My favorite thing is to read people, have them come back, and see growth and change within them. I love to give hope, help people accept themselves, and teach them to trust their gut and intuition. With psychic work, people tend to get in their heads, overthink, and desire instant gratification, and spirit does not work that way.
You began doing this as a side gig 23 years ago and today it is your occupation. You have extensive experience. Has there ever been an instance where you turned someone away?
JB: I have evolved at my own pace. Now all I need is a name and birthdate. I am very honest, and I am not meant to read everybody either. I have turned people away because it is kind of like the matrix, you must plug in. I raise my vibration, spirit lowers theirs, and usually who gets sent to me is on my vibration. If I can’t get anything, I do not take the money.
With Hollywood and all these avant-garde paranormal television shows and films, people presume anyone who is psychically gifted has lived a very cinematic life.
JB: It is true because that is all they showcase! It has all become the show. I had a very normal childhood, and I am not here to entertain, I am here to help. Most good psychics are very humble, they are usually people you do not think will be readers, and they are usually people you don’t know about. I am a gay man who was born with one leg shorter than the other, hip dysplasia, I walk with a limp, and people do not see me coming. I am not the person you would pick out of the crowd to be a messenger of God and a conduit of spirit.
In the age of social media and overexposure, it is impressive you have such a large following without promotion. Do you feel people are starting to confuse celebrity with validity?
JB: This is a problem today. Everyone is trying to portray themselves as perfect and in turn they judge one another harsher. We have become a society that is extremely image-oriented. We focus too much on the external, labeling, and who we think we need to be. That is not the way spirit works. Love yourself. If you love yourself and own yourself, the world will receive you.
I would like to see people start to accept their flaws. True spiritual work comes down to authenticity, honesty, vulnerability, compassion, and respect for other people. Fortunately, this younger generation is starting to be more authentic and accepting. It took me a long time to accept owning my gifts because I was worried about balancing them with my ego. Ultimately, I needed to learn to be comfortable with saying what I sense and realize what people do with the information I give them is their karma based upon how they receive it. My goal is for my clients to leave with healing and enlightenment about themselves because I love to empower people. I read pure of heart, pure of intention by God’s will.
What is a lesson people need to learn today?
JB: I do not think people see themselves long-term in any situation or relationship today. They want instant gratification. We have become a society that needs to work on self-care and spiritual attunement, and moreover, learning that it is individualized. We are always seeking the correct answer instead of pausing and asking ourselves, what does my soul desire?
People need to start focusing on what they want to be in the world instead of what they want to project in the world. People need to try to align with their higher purpose and ultimately focus on contentment in life as opposed to happiness because happiness is fleeting.
Do you get frustrated with the extensive number of charlatans in your field? Do you feel they negate people taking you seriously due to how many fakes there are in the industry?
JB: Hearing from clients who have been to charlatans is frustrating because often times they are drawn to these theatrical wannabes because they think that is who we are based upon what Hollywood showcases. The types to pull out the candles, the spells, and low vibrations. Some people are attracted to that. Nevertheless, charlatans have their place in the sense that their purpose may very well be to bring people to those who are actually light workers such as myself. Sometimes it takes people a while to get to where they need to be. Much like I grew into my craft, I think people are finding their way spiritually, similar to how we often date the worst types of people in our youth (laughs) not knowing any better. You learn and in turn don’t go back to what doesn’t work. I love when I get somebody who has been to a charlatan and enjoys their reading because that is growth. If you go to different readers and they tell you similar, that means they are on point, but if someone is very inconsistent than the rest of them, that is a red flag.
What has been one of your most memorable readings?
JB: I was reading a man and immediately picked up on drugs [all] around him. He then told me about a drug charge. I told him I was picking up on him being arrested. At the tail end of the reading, the cops were at his home to arrest him, and he was freaking out.
Schedule a reading at: JimmieBay.com