Doreen Virtue was arguably the best-selling new age author of all time, with 50 books translated into 38 languages, popular angel cards and a three year waitlist for her psychic readings.
Former Queen of the New Age movement, Doreen Virtue, has turned her back on the philosophy that drove her whole life, to embrace Christianity instead.
The change stunned her massive international following, leaving many in disbelief. "Why and how?" they demanded to know.
The shocking change of heart sent the internet into meltdown. However, she explains that after 58 years of seeking the truth through crystals, tarot card readings, divination, interpreting dreams and much more, she finally found what she was looking for in Jesus and the Bible.
It occurred while she was developing a new product called Jesus Cards. Prompted by the desire for the cards to be accurate and authentic, she had begun to read the Bible and attend church to find out more about Jesus.
"In January 2017 in church I had a life-changing vision of Jesus. It was the light. I can't describe it. It was like a near death experience and it saved me," she says.
"I thought, 'Wow the Bible is real. Jesus is true.'
"I understood then what it meant that Jesus died for our sins. Before that it made no sense. It was like trying to explain auto mechanics to me. I had no idea what people were talking about.
"But with that vision, there was a sense like feeling the crushing weight of all the world's wrong-doing and God's wrath going into Jesus. I was forever changed.
"I had been a seeker all my life. I'm not a seeker anymore. It's so restful."
According to Doreen, the key to life in the New Age movement is the driving need to prop up people's self-esteem, with reliance on affirmations, loving oneself and self-care. In reality though, she has found that freedom comes when we glorify God instead of ourselves.
"When we take ourselves off the throne of our heart — and put Jesus on the throne of our heart — then that emptiness, that void, is gone. It's not self-love we need. It's God's love and that's what fills us up," she now understands.
Unlike many people, who hear about Jesus when young and return to Christian faith when they are older, Doreen knew nothing about Christianity. It brought about a shuddering 180 degree change in her life. She describes it 'as foreign to me as learning a different language and culture'.
Changing her daily life has been like peeling layers off an onion. The change in her beliefs, attitudes and behavior has been frustratingly slow and uncomfortable as she reads the Bible and grows in her understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.
For her public and legions of adoring fans, it's also confusing. They see her books and products still on the shelves and there is even a 2019 calendar in the pipeline that can't be recalled. It raises the question, did she have a real conversion?
"I don't have a magical lasso that I can throw out to recall all my products like a car manufacturer. I am negotiating all the time to take things out of print but it takes a while."
The publisher has removed some products and agreed to change others but Doreen is at the mercy of an industry that operates on long lead times and inflexible retail schedules.
There's a surprising upside for the former celebrity author, however, when fans who don't yet know of her new faith get in touch to request a prediction about the future. It gives her the opportunity to point out that you don't find reliable answers in New Age philosophy.
"People are seeking and trying to control and predict the future. I tell them where to get reliable answers. Read the Bible and pray to God; and make sure it's God you are praying to. I work with people to get answers that way now."
Doreen still has 400,000 followers on social media and personally answers every contact. She delights in the new ways of connecting with others, by praying with people and holding online Bible studies, which she calls Bible support and encouragement groups.
Her new life is marked by a passion to read the Bible daily, pray and encourage others to meet Jesus Christ for themselves.•
You can follow doreenvirtue on Instagram.