Tami Sabo sees dead people. She also sees visions of live people who are missing. Sabo is a psychic -- a finder of missing people, pets and objects.
As a little girl, when I went to the post office with my granddaddy, I was always drawn to the wall with the missing-person posters, she says. I was especially drawn to the missing children. Every time Id see those pictures, it would draw me like a magnet.
She says, Every picture I looked at gave me a different feeling. Sometimes I would get a picture. As a teenager, I couldnt pass by a missing-person poster without stopping to see what it felt like to me. Today, I can go through a stack of them and determine which ones will be found as a live find.
Sabo has joined forces with another psychic, Samantha Phenix, and in Effingham County they together operate RedArdor Metaphysics, a non-profit ministry.
Like Sabo, Phenix realized early in life that she saw things differently.
People kept telling me I was weird, she says with a laugh. Once I understood it, I came to just accept it. Its who I am and what I want to do. I really dont feel like doing anything else, and I dont feel Im made any differently than anyone else.
Sabo began doing research as a teenager.
Im still very much a student of the Biblical text, and I also study the Torah, she says. Im definitely into Scripture. Not just the ones that are familiar, but the ones that are missing -- the Books of Mary Magdalene, the Apocrypha, the Books of Enoch. Im a seeker of the truth and I try to spread the truth.
Sabo also has studied ancient civilizations, parapsychology, astrology and oracles. Phenix, too, has studied various religious doctrines.
I began studying the Zodiac and relative personalities 22 years ago, Phenix says. I received a Ouija board 20 years ago, and began doing Tarot readings 17 years ago.
Phenix specializes in crystals and minerals, herbalism, meditation, candle crafting, spirit communication and entity detachment. Her gifts include empathy, strong intuition, spirit/entity discernment and angelic messages.
In counseling sessions, Sabo and Phenix use the Tarot, angel cards, remote viewing, pendulum readings, intuitive profiling, palmistry, rune readings and spirit detachment.
Phenix is also developing channeling and automatic writing abilities. Between the two of us, we can expand on this and fill in any gaps, she says.
Both women believe in angels. There are different angels over different sections with different duties and jobs, Sabo says. God is omnipresent, and the angels are like His fingers and hands. I work with the angels.
Sabo says prayer is important in communicating with angels. I use prayer. When I meditate, its always more like prayer. I ask certain angels to come down and protect a family, and if at all possible, to ease their pain.
She theorizes about the origin of her talents, God gives me my gifts. Every one of us has a definite purpose to fulfill in our life.
Psychic ability is anything but rare, the two say. I believe we all have ability at some level, like intuition, Sabo says. It is part of our human makeup. Some people develop it more than others.
We all have abilities, Phenix says. We arent special, we just accept it.
Sabo uses what she calls her mind screen, as she points to her forehead. This is where I get the images, she says.
Sabo is dyslexic, and believes that this influences her abilities. She views dyslexia as a gift rather than a learning disability.
Dyslexics use intuition a lot when learning or reading, Sabo says. We see things a little differently. I see things logically and in 3-D. I see the whole object, all sides of it.
There are Cherokee ancestors on both sides of Sabos family, and she thinks this heritage might have predisposed her to psychic ability.
My dads mother was Cherokee, Sabo says. My great-great-grandmother on my mothers side was Cherokee. They were very spiritual people. Im very drawn to my Indian heritage.
Sabos mother, Willie Cornette, says she didnt know about her daughters psychic ability for a long time. She didnt talk about it much, Cornette says. She hasnt been open about it until the last year or two.
Cornette and Sabo live together in Effingham County. Im the youngest of five, Sabo says. Im a single parent. My mom and I had two houses in town. I sold my house, she sold her house and we headed here. We look after each other.
Although Cornette was unaware of Sabos psychic ability, she recognized that her daughter had talent. She always told me that Im very much a thinker, Sabo says. She said I was thinking beyond my years. When I was really young, I realized that maybe people didnt think like I did on an all-time basis. When youre young, you strive to be like your peers, but I was so different.
I had one friend who knew about the battle that was within me, she says. At the time, I felt it was more of a curse than a gift.
Psychics and mediums are particularly popular these days, thanks to TV series such as Medium and Psychic Detectives. But Sabo says working as a psychic is much more complicated than what you might see on television.
The main thing I do is missing-person cases, she says. Ive done cases that were murders, and cases that were suicides. Its very difficult to do. Its not really the path I chose -- it was the path I was given.
Sabo uses a talent she calls remote viewing to find missing people. Its like a gift that comes with rules, or a present that comes with instructions, she says. It comes with baggage. The more you utilize it, the more responsibility comes with it.
Sabo says shes also an empath. Not only can I see certain situations, I can feel them, she says. That is probably the hardest part.
I see someones memories and they become my memories, as well. Sabo says. I relive their memories. Sometimes, I have to separate myself from my work.
At times, Sabo sees situations that are painful.
It can be very traumatic. I do it to help people who have lost someone or had trauma and loss. The loss of a loved one causes grief and strife, so closure is essential, she says.
I do it because I love people. I want to be able to help. A lot of that type of work that I do is charity.
Individuals approach Sabo for help in finding a loved one, but she also has worked with police departments and other law enforcement agencies.
Its not like it is on TV, she says. You wouldnt believe how much work psychics or other gifted persons have put into these cases.
Remote viewing is used by the U.S. military, which trains viewers to draw images they see in faraway settings.
I have a friend who works for the government now, Sabo says. Hes almost like a mentor in some ways.
However, Sabo doesnt draw what she sees, she tells it. I never was trained to do it, she says. I get myself in a very relaxed state and focus on my target. If Im working with a partner, I have someone write down the information as I say it. The information starts coming very fast.
A session could last for an hour, or for three hours. It depends on how personal it is, Sabo says. When Im in a relaxed state, Im on Tami Time. I think a few minutes have passed, and someone will tell me the session lasted for hours.
Sabo doesnt want any information about a missing-person case in advance. I dont watch TV because I dont want to inadvertently learn about the case, she says. The more information I have about a case, the less able I am to work on it. When I dont know anything about the case, I know what Im getting is real.
The cases Sabo gets can come from anywhere. Ive worked on cases all over the world -- Australia, Britain -- and all over the country -- New York, California, Texas, Alabama, she says. More times as not, I dont even know where the case is coming from.
One murder case she worked on was particularly haunting. There was a case in Alabama where a family was killed by another family member, Sabo says. A woman, man and little boy were killed by a cousin.
Often, Sabo never learns how the cases are resolved. I dont always get feedback from police, she says.
At first, the things I give them may not mean anything to them, Sabo says. Its only later when the case is solved that the meanings of the clues are clear.
Objects owned by the missing person can be powerful tools for a psychic to use to retrieve information. It can be a high school ring worn on a chain, or a ring someone is wearing that is very sentimental to him, Sabo says. The investigators are able to start building on the path I have created.
The cases Sabo deals with dont always have bad endings. Sometimes, the person has just run off, she says. Give her time and shell come back.
In one recent case, Sabo tracked down a 15-year-old girl in Tennessee. I told her parents, She may seem to be missing, but shes actually a runaway, Sabo says.
Her parents didnt want her seeing a guy who was older. She was hard-headed and because of that had run off, Sabo says.
I told them, Give her about four weeks and shell be back. Shes safe.
The girl had altered her appearance while she was on the run. She had colored her hair, Sabo says. She did come back and when she did, she was a better person. By being separated from her family, she appreciated them more. She was more respectful of her parents and what they had.
The mother of the girl was very hurt by her disappearance. Mothers are more sensitive to these cases, Sabo says. I like the cases where Im able to give someone a little bit of peace.
However, not all cases are like that.
Theres a lady from Massachusetts who has been missing for a year, Sabo says. This family is so wanting to find her.
What Sabo dreads telling them is that she believes the woman is dead.
Some information you give a loved one can be very traumatic. Im especially sensitive to family members. They may not want to know the details of what has happened to their loved one, she says.
Its hard for me to tell someone their loved one expired a week after they were gone. Some families have not been able to heal. Its very tough to deal with.
Phenix says knowing the future can be a heavy load to bear. Its hard to know things or see things and not be able to do anything about it, she says. Nine out of 10 times, we have to sit back and watch. Sometimes I see things I just dont want to see. There are things I just dont want to know.
Police are not likely to contact a psychic for help until theyve exhausted every lead. Sabo thinks this is a mistake.
If they would utilize people like me from the first, they would have a better chance of having a live find, she says. That would give me a lot more fulfillment. I usually get the cases that are classified as dead files, and I dont like that term.
In addition to finding missing people, Sabo also uses her abilities to look for lost pets. People want to find a missing animal because a pet is like a family member, she says. Ive had very good results with returning pets to their rightful homes.
Sabo also locates missing items and valuables. Her friends and family often utilize this gift.
People call me and say, I cant find my keys. Can you do a little look-see for me? Sabo says. It comes so easily to me I dont even think about it.
Sabo and Phenix were ordained through Universal Life Ministries. Sabo is going to start teaching seminary classes, and already is offering the first -- a course in angelology and demonology.
You have to encompass both to get the true gist, she says.
Eventually, Sabo will be offering eight to 10 classes, which will be listed on the RedArdor website. The website, which includes a message board, can be seen at www.redardor.com. E-mail can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. For appointments, call 665-1571.
Phenix and Sabo believe in distinct light powers and dark powers. I pull from the light powers, Sabo says. Sometimes you have to battle the dark with the dark, but I believe I have to work in the light.
Darkness can be irresistible to some. Theres a beautiful side to evil, Phenix says. Because it can be alluring, its a downhill slope.
Sabos work has led to some interesting experiences. She was contacted by BBC Television and asked to film a segment of a show called Travels With My Unfit Mother.
Turns out the show features Anne Robinson, infamous host of The Weakest Link, and her daughter, Emma. Both had individual tarot readings done during the filming.
Sabo also appeared on The Today Show in October 2004, when she was contacted by the shows producers to do an intuitive review of the Moon River Brewing Co. in Savannah. For the segment, she was interviewed by Martin Savage.
Last February, Sabo did a psychometry session for Antique Hunters. She got impressions by holding a French Tarot deck from the 1830s.
When Im working, people sometimes ask me what my beliefs are. Im a person who calls myself spiritual, and it is a very personal thing with me, she says.
Religion is man-made and theres nothing wrong with that. I believe in true communication with the higher powers.
Phenix says sometimes the message gets lost in the trappings of organized religion. For example, the Bible has been heavily edited over the centuries.
There is so much editing and so many things hidden in the text, Phenix says. There is too much faith in the Book and not enough in the Word itself.
Phenix believes in reincarnation, in which the soul is reborn again and again in different bodies through time.
For a long time, Sabo didnt believe in reincarnation. Then she had a reading that resulted in her finding physical evidence of a former life.
Were in hell now. We exist in the realm of hell, which is chaos, every day, she says.
Its really all about perception -- all about what we perceive and what other people perceive.
Others have not always been understanding about Sabos gifts. When I was 20, I went to Bible study. I had a place in that church and I felt good about it, she recalls.
In 1st Corinthians, Chapter 7, it talks about the gifts God has given us, including the gifts of prophecy and healing. I was so happy. When I went to Bible study, I told everyone, I have dreams that come true and I know things. but its okay, because God gave them to me, Sabo says.
At the next prayer meeting, they had talked to each other about my revelation at the meeting. They all joined hands and asked the demon to release me. I was very shocked, and I cried. I had faith in those people, Sabo remembers.
As I went back and prayed about it, something came to my mind. Not everyone is meant to see. Since then, Ive always been very devout and I just let it guide me.
Because RedArdor Metaphysics is a non-profit organization, Sabo and Phenix ask for donations.
It is work, Sabo says. To receive energy, you have to give energy. Any time you help someone, you give them good energy and take on some of their karmic debt. We pay a price for helping. When you help someone, youre doing a spiritual battle.
But even psychics arent all-knowing, all-seeing, all of the time.
The simplest things are harder. Its harder to keep up with lighters and keys than missing people. Especially lately, Phenix says.
She still cant find her car keys, Phenix says laughingly of Sabo. Shell look for them and say, Okay, give me 15 minutes to meditate.
Contact Tami and Phenix at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is www.redardor.com. For appointments, call 665-1571. To comment in a letter to the editor, e-mail us at