When first introduced to Aries Eye, I was not sure what to expect. Did she know what I was thinking? Would she be open to having a genuine conversation? And does this go against my religion ('cause all I know is I'm down with Jesus)? All these thoughts ran through my mind before our conversation began. But after a few minutes of chatting, I felt like I was simply talking with a friend, except this one could speak to the dead.
Aries Eye is a medium (a person who communicates with spirits) most known for her work in the hip hop community. She's been a guest on The Breakfast Club and channeled for guests like Faith Evans' daughter Chyna and many more. While I can only imagine what it's like to share such intimate moments with people about their loved ones who are no longer with us, I was most curious to know what her every day life is like. I can barely balance my normal day to day tasks, how does she do it while connecting with two worlds? Through our transparent conversation, I learned it wasn't at all easy.
Tell me about your first experience as a medium. When did you realize you had a gift?
The first experience was when my great grandmother transitioned. I was about twelve years old, and it felt like I was dreaming. As kids we don't understand we're seeing spirits. I just remember feeling like I had just woken up, and I saw her sitting across from me in a rocking chair, shaking her head. I went to tell mom, but she told me my grandmother was in Chicago. A few days later, my dad called and said she had passed. After that, I suppressed it for years like most kids do. But I joined the marine corps at 17 and the experiences started to come back in the form of anxiety. It wasn't until last year that I actually owned it.
Courtesy of Aries Eye
"I joined the marine corps at 17 and the experiences started to come back in the form of anxiety. It wasn't until last year that I actually owned it."
That seems like a lot to handle. Did you share these experiences with other people? How did they take it?
I didn't tell anybody, because how do you? Even the criticism I take now is amiss. What happens a lot of times when people are suppressing their truth and gifts, it's like a balloon. Eventually it can only take so much before it pops. They begin to swell and become chaotic. You're power-battling yourself so you start battling others too, and that's what happened to me, I became very angry.
When did you decide you wanted to shift your secret and change it to you purpose?
Last year, the craziest thing happened. I was fussing at my daughter Ayri and she says, "Don't call me Ayri, my name is Granny Watkins." She's never met my great grandmother, and I didn't even call her that. So for a two-year-old to say that, it was an awakening moment. I was looking at the purest version of myself, so I was like, "I get it Grandma. I'm gonna walk in my truth."
Did you have any experience with this kind of work? Walk me through your career journey.
I did hair for nine years and was a district manager making good money. But, I was always on the road as a single mom. When I decided to relocate to NC, I didn't have a plan. The first job I got didn't work out, and I walked away from the second. Times were hard, and I was homeless with my daughter. Last year is when I fully walked in my gift and trusted my ancestors, and last May, I became a self-made millionaire.
Courtesy of Aries Eye
"Last year is when I fully walked in my gift and trusted my ancestors, and last May, I became a self-made millionaire."
What’s a typical day like for you?
I travel to help patients who are comatose or in hospice. People pay me to transition them out, which means I call forth their ancestors that have died and help give the family closure. I also have a website that schedules people for readings, and I teach a lot of classes. There are 42 apprentices underneath my leadership. On any given day, I am teaching them how to walk in their gift (mediums, clairvoyants, healers). I teach them how to be themselves, to walk in the spiritual realm.
How did the hip-hop brand happen, and why?
It was a cool name for an African-American trying to lead her people. People see me and think I can't be a spiritualist. I am very much into the millennial culture and immersed into hip-hop. But I do also just get a lot of hip-hop spirits that come to me. I think it's because of relatability. When you walk with the dead, you began to develop a rapport with them the same way you do with humans and the living. I can't explain the power of having an army behind you that no one else can see but you can feel them going to war for you. I spoke about that time when I was angry. I got out of the marine corps, and was in prison for two years. I don't think I should have been in that long, but life takes you through experiences. The Long Island Medium can't talk to a black man who just came out of prison, I can. I think a lot of them come to me because I'm authentic.
"When you walk with the dead, you began to develop a rapport with them the same way you do with humans and the living. I can't explain the power of having an army behind you that no one else can see but you can feel them going to war for you."
What has been your most memorable experience in this career?
Last month, I transitioned an 18-year-old who was shot in the head. The hardest thing for me was knowing that he was gone. I knew his soul was wondering. I had to watch a black mother who worked so hard, pull her child off life support. It was very hard to see that. To me, that was the most standout moment because I knew I wanted to help black mothers heal. We have too many of them who have lost their children to gun violence. The hip-hop aspect is fine and dandy, but the real work comes when you can touch the community.
Featured image courtesy of Aries Eye