A naval commander becomes a novel communicator, delivering
messages of hope and healing from the dearly departed
By Rev. Ellen Debenport
early 14 years ago, Suzanne Giesemann was a
decorated commander in the U.S. Navy and aidede-camp to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
She flew on Air Force One with the president (then George W.
Bush), she sat in on top-secret hearings on Capitol Hill and at
the Pentagon, and she visited the White House Strategy Room
and the Oval Office on official business.
“Today I sit in a darkened room and talk to dead people,”
After she left the Navy, Giesemann became a psychic
medium and channel for the spirit world. This certainly wasn’t
a path she planned or anticipated, yet both roles have been
absolutely authentic for her, at different times in her life.
“Right now I could not be a Navy commander,” Giesemann
says. “I’m so proud of having served my country—I loved that
part of my life—but I’m in a new place now. This is just a new
kind of service. Now I hope to be serving humanity.”
She talks often about her previous career in the Navy, not
only because it’s a fascinating story, but also because it lends
credibility to her work as a transmitter of messages from the
“It’s allowing me to bring these spiritual messages and the
awareness of a greater reality to people who otherwise would
not believe,” she says.
The Making of a Medium
Giesemann grew up without any particular religion, but
she developed an interest in metaphysics and spirituality even
W W W. U N I T Y M A G A Z I N E . O R G
while she was in the Navy. None of her military pals knew she
visited metaphysical bookstores.
Then came 9/11. She and her boss, the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs, were aboard the last airplane allowed to fly that
day in the United States. They had been headed to Europe
when news came of the attacks on the twin towers of the
World Trade Center in New York City, and their route back
to Washington, D.C., took them directly over the smoking
They returned to the Pentagon, where another hijacked
airplane had crashed into its outer ring, and Giesemann
remembers stepping through the blackened rubble, thinking
about the victims. Why them? Why now? she wondered at the
time. Why were others spared? What happens after death?
Giesemann retired from the Navy a few years later, and
she and her husband Ty, a retired Navy destroyer captain, set
sail in their 46-foot sloop named Liberty. They crossed the
Atlantic Ocean, fulfilling a longtime dream, and then they
puttered around in the Mediterranean sunshine. Three years
had gone by when life as they knew it suddenly changed
First came an odd dream: Giesemann was at a party, and
her 27-year-old stepdaughter Susan, married and six months
pregnant at the time, walked up to her with a beautiful smile
and said, “We’re fine. The baby and I are very happy.”
The day after the dream, Susan was struck by lightning and
killed. Giesemann and Ty were devastated by the loss of both
Susan and their unborn grandson.
“Susan was this beautiful soul whom everybody loved,” says
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“Those on the other side are talking
Giesemann, who met Ty’s daughter when she was only 13.
but that Giesemann would have no way of knowing, except
“She thoroughly accepted me into her life and was as loving
with me as she was with everyone—which is often the case
To this day, Giesemann describes herself as an evidential
with those who die young, as I’m finding out. They were the
medium and still enjoys being reassured that she really is
beautiful lights who came for a short time and left quite an
in touch with Spirit. In fact, sometimes she needs more
impact while they were here.”
evidence than her clients do.
After that tragic event,
“People are so completely
Giesemann deeply needed to
open to it,” she says. “The
know more about death and
beautiful part is I don’t try to
the afterlife. Even at Susan’s
convince anyone. I just let the
service, Giesemann tried
evidence speak for itself.”
mentally to communicate with
The evidence she needed
her. Suddenly, leaves were
for herself came in the form
dancing and swirling in the
of poetry. As she meditated,
wind, and she and Ty smiled
she kept a pad of paper
at the evidence of Susan’s
nearby so she could write
presence. There were other
down whatever she received,
signs over time, as well: a
still wondering whether she
yellow butterfly that followed
was hearing her own voice
them for two days, a television
or something higher. She
that turned on by itself. Finally, U.S. Navy Commander Suzanne Giesemann with then-president noticed the words she wrote
George W. Bush in 2001.
Giesemann sought out a
were rhyming. Giesemann
medium and became convinced
was definitely not a poet, so
Susan’s spirit was indeed alive and still with them.
she knew this must be coming from somewhere beyond her
As her listening skills developed, a new energy began to
Collective Consciousness Calling
with hers. This was not a dead person, she realized. The
Mediums tune in to Spirit the same way a radio detects
voice referred to itself as “we.” What she was hearing was a
a signal, Giesemann explains. Each person has an energetic
collective consciousness of higher beings.
frequency that survives death, and a medium can pick it
“You are to call us Sanaya,” they told her. “And you should
up, even merge with it, to pass on messages from those who
to write, and write, and write as we give you words of
wit and wisdom each day.”
This new information was not easy for the former Navy
While Giesemann and Ty now live in Florida, they are on
officer to accept, but Giesemann sensed it was important for
the road much of the year for Giesemann’s workshops and
her. So she prayed: “Transform my life. Guide me and show
other speaking events.
me how I may serve.”
Ever the skeptic, Giesemann studied and worked closely
with a couple of mediums before deciding to try this otherworldly communication herself. So she went to medium
school. The Arthur Findlay College of Psychic Sciences in
Stansted, England, was perfect for a doubter like Giesemann.
The emphasis at Findlay was on evidence: You say you’re
talking to the dead? Prove it!
Giesemann seemed to have natural talent as a medium,
but she wanted evidence more than anyone. The messages
she heard sounded like her own voice, and she needed
to make sure she wasn’t imagining them or distorting
their information. As she practiced giving readings, she
continually asked for evidence. What messages could she
Giesemann brings through evidence from Steve Jasper’s deceased
convey to a client that only they would know? Was there
father during a one-on-one session in August in 2012.
an incident, a nickname, a keepsake the client recognized
Life never ends but only changes.
to loved ones, putting thoughts in
their heads all the time.”
Dialogue With the Departed
So how does it all work?
Although it’s the living who contact Giesemann for
readings, she is actually serving the dead who, she says,
are eager—even desperate—to send messages to their
loved ones still on Earth.
“Those on the other side are talking to loved ones,
putting thoughts in their heads all the time,” she explains,
“and the loved ones often don’t acknowledge that’s where
their thoughts are coming from. So for an hour during a
reading, suddenly the dead have a mouth again, they have
a voice again, and it’s called a medium.”
To prepare, Giesemann clears herself as a vessel for
love or higher consciousness to flow through. She sets
an intention to blend her energy field with the spirits so
she becomes them, even feeling their physical symptoms.
Communication is also possible with those who are in a
coma or suffering from dementia or mental illness.
“I feel exactly what their personality was like,” she says.
“I feel their thoughts. It becomes such a clear blending
that I don’t have to work. I just have to report objectively
what I feel.”
Giesemann believes it’s important for the world to
understand life never ends but only changes. We continue
to grow and heal on the other side. As she spreads her
message, Giesemann has brought comfort to clients who
feel the way she did after Susan was killed, questioning
why and how and what happens after death. Many of her
clients are the parents of young men who died of drug
overdoses or suicide.
“Suicide is an act of free will that is regretted by those
who take it,” she says. “Those who do take their own lives
are not burning in hell but are in fact surrounded by love.
They immediately realize what they did was cut short their
opportunities to grow and learn, and in that way did not
add to the whole, which is why all of us are here.”
Giesemann no longer cares if doubters think she is
weird, stressing that anyone can have these same abilities.
“We all channel all the time when we let higher aspects
of ourselves come through us,” she says, “through
inspiration, creativity, or getting higher wisdom or
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Commander Suzanne Giesemann,
U.S. Navy, renders a salute while
serving as aide to the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2001.
Below: Giesemann shares
teachings from those in spirit
at Unity of the Villages in
Summerfield, Florida, in 2013.
Suzanne Giesemann is the author of 11 books, including her memoir, Messages
of Hope (One Mind Books, 2011). Her latest book, Wolf’s Message (Waterside
Productions, 2014), chronicles her extensive contact with a young man who
anticipated his sudden death and sent back messages of hope and joy. Giesemann
will be hosting a weekend retreat at Awaken Whole Life Center in Unity Village,
Missouri, July 10–12, 2015. For more information about Giesemann or to
subscribe to her daily “Sanaya Says” email messages, visit her website at www
.suzannegiesemann.com. For more information about her retreat at Awaken, click on
the retreats and events tab at www.awakenwholelifecenter.com.
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