Modern Mystic Jo Ann Anderson Makes Her Living Helping Others Live Better
Walking into Jo Ann Anderson’s “office” feels like stepping into another world. Calming music envelops the space, candles provide soft lighting and the furniture is cozy and inviting. Anderson usually has a foot bath waiting to enhance the spa-like atmosphere, easing clients into another level of relaxation, and a goal of transitioning mind, body and spirit out of the harsh world of traffic, fluorescent lighting and emails. This alternate, peaceful reality is where Anderson’s services begin to take root, though she hopes the feelings of calm and groundedness extend far beyond her studio.
Urban Muse — inside the Blue Mambo Salon at 4621 Montrose, #240 — is Anderson’s business, which combines an esoteric blend of energy work, intuitive readings, mediumship and mysticism to help clients with a variety of issues.
“I feel a very personal connection with people and I want them to feel their best,” says Anderson. “I care for them. I want to keep them going and help them find out who they are on a deeper level.”
Clients schedule sessions with Anderson for services like clairvoyant readings, where according to Anderson’s website, “information from your past, present and future” is uncovered through her intuitive abilities and applied to current situations and pending decisions. Mediumship supposedly connects clients to those with loved ones that have passed on, sharing messages from the other side. Past life readings can give insight and information to those that believe they may be affecting present-day issues while totem readings help uncover and translate the signs and symbols emerging from everyday life. Anderson’s energy work is said to help clear negative vibrations from physical spaces as well as our own bodies, making way for productive, harmonious and healthy energy.
Anderson’s clients — who come from all walks of life — tend to have a surprisingly professional pedigree. High-level executives, human resource managers, doctors, PhDs and scientists come to her for advice.
“Many people consult me about their work,” says Anderson. “They’ve already come to me and I’ve gained their trust. That’s really cool to me that they’re open to taking this into their business life.”
A professional in her own right, Anderson’s unusual career began to take shape when she was very young.
“When I was three or four, I started to have recurring dreams that I still remember,” she says. “I would make things in my dream and somehow those scenarios would come alive in my real life. My parents didn’t know what to do with me. They thought I was strange. I was always curious about the unknown and was never scared of it, so of course I wanted to explore it. I realized that the things I was feeling and hearing — not thinking — but really feeling: Those messages were always right, never wrong. I realized that I have an unshakeable knowing within me and I decided to listen to it. That’s where I am today.”
Anderson also happens to co-own the Blue Mambo Hair Salon with her husband Ronnie Anderson and their business partner Julie Somogye, which provides her with a unique location to conduct such spiritual tune-ups.
“It’s an unusual mix, but it works,” says Anderson. “It’s the element of surprise. I’ll have clients come in on a Saturday and see how busy the salon is, and then walk into this room and say, ‘Wow.’ I love the paradox of things here.”
No matter how busy the salon is outside Anderson’s cozy studio, the vibe inside is always warm and inviting. A tranquil mood is just one of the ways Anderson convinces clients to open their minds, hearts and beliefs to receiving her messages and advice.
“If I have a client that I really need to reach, I find a way,” explains Anderson. “Different people respond to different methods. I have many tools I use to break the ice with different people.”
Such tools include a deck of cards with different scenic photos — think seashells on a beach, a rainbow in a meadow and other peaceful vistas — accompanied by pithy quotes like “Take a walk on the wild side,” or “The sirens are calling.” Others are simple color palettes to evoke an emotion or reaction from the client. Anderson’s bag of tricks also includes various custom-blended scents or precious stones, all of them reaching a different combination of the five senses. No matter which method she uses, Anderson says her ultimate goals are the same.
“When someone comes in, it’s all about the experience. We’re not going to be reading anything, we’re just going to dive in. You’re going to be doing it. Once we start working together, people become more open and start to relax. It’s because they realize that this is an intimate human experience. To me, that’s a beautiful moment,” she says.
In stringing those beautiful moments together, Anderson helps her clients achieve their goals, whether they’re physical, mental, spiritual or a combination of all three.
“After the sessions, we can begin to see the story, or at least the clues,” she says. “They all come together. I want people to come in and be inspired. I want them to experience the signs, the messages, the serendipity. I think I’m a reminder to stop and smell the roses. How else are you supposed to find that joy? You’re not going to buy it. You have to feel it, you have to connect with it.”
Some people just need a muse like Anderson to facilitate such connections, and she’s more than happy to use her otherworldly skill set to do just that.