I’m a Humanist, and if I believe in anything, I believe in the human imagination. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the concept that religious and spiritual belief are based in real-world facts, the way a lot of religious and spiritual people do. To me, spiritual belief is part of the human imagination.
Which is not reductive, by the way! Our imaginations make us bigger on the inside than we are on the outside. Imagination allows us to envision a different world. It allows us to come up with novel and effective solutions to difficult problems. It allows us to communicate with each other without even seeing each other (vis-a-vis art). We use, like, what, 10% of our brains consciously? I’m willing to allow for the possibility that some of the spiritual phenomena people express that they’ve experienced really is happening in some way in that other 90% of our brains.
Which is why, despite the fact that I don’t give a whole lot of credence to claims of psychic abilities, I tried to go into my tarot reading with an open mind. The shop was exactly, like note-for-note the kind of new age store you’d imagine: Hunks of crystals on sale, and sage for smudging, and new-agey books, and candles that will help you become more prosperous or something, and a whole wall of essential oils. All of which helped me feel more comfortable, honestly, because if I’d walked into anything less than a New Age Store Prototype, I probably would’ve thought they even they don’t believe in what they’re doing.
I prepared for the appointment by thinking of some general questions to ask: What do I need to concentrate on, with my health? How should I handle a troubled relationship with one of my loved ones? Since I’m in the planning stages of writing a book, is the strategy I’m taking with it going to work out? And I figured, the more general I allow their answers to be, the less disappointed I will be, ultimately.
My psychic took me back to a little curtain-enclosed room and was kind enough to walk me through a meditation before we started, and to get through any spiels quickly, since the charge was $30 for 20 minutes and $1 per minute thereafter. She gave me a choice of cards to choose from – air, water, earth, and fire – and I chose air, which she said gave insight into my conscious mind right now and indicated that I’m very cerebral, very invested in ideas, and that’s good, but the downside to air is that it lacks support.
Then, she had me draw a card from a deck that was fanned-out and upside-down, and I chose a card that depicted a woman sleeping in a field of poppies while, apparently, there was a fire on the horizon; she told me this gave insight into my unconscious mind, and that I have a tendency to lull myself into a false sense of security by engaging in repetitive and mind-numbing habits. The gist of this was that I have tension between my free-flying conscious mind and the bad habits that make me feel secure but are no good for all those bright ideas I’ve got, which, boy-oh, is actually pretty true.
The psychic then laid out the next six months for me. Apparently, it’s going to go like this: Money will be stable; my relationship will be good, but we won’t always have a lot of time to spend together; I will have career-related stress but overall my career will improve; I will have a very up-and-down home/family life; and emotionally, I’ll be OK, but apparently mid-October to mid-November, I should expect quite a lot of anxiety and general down-ness.
Then came my questions. What should I do for my health? The psychic said that I needed to pay attention to what I eat, based on what the cards are telling her, and that doing so will help with most of my immediate health problems.
Coincidentally, or maybe not, I’ve been doing an elimination diet and have been getting exhausted with it, so that was a good bit of reinforcement for my elimination-diet zeal. How should I handle a troubled relationship I’ve got going on with a loved one? She told me what my gut was telling me, which is to just leave it alone for right now, that it’ll resolve itself. And finally, the book? She said that the cards suggested that I’m doing a good job with all my preparations, but that I shouldn’t be too rigid and should be open to new ideas.
And then the 20 minutes was up, and I didn’t really have more questions, so that was that.
I don’t really know what to take out of the experience, because I tried to treat it with seriousness and dignity – because this woman obviously has a belief system that I don’t understand or agree with, but that I respect – but I also feel like, when it comes to predicting the future, you kind of have to take things with a grain of salt.
I’m trying to treat the whole thing as a brainstorming session, which might not be outside of the bounds of her spiritual belief. From that brainstorming session, I got a reassurance that there are things I shouldn’t worry too much about, like money or my relationship – which I knew anyway, deep down, but it was nice to get validation on it. I got that I should continue to work on preparing myself to cope with life stressors.
And that’s not so bad, right? It seems like a good general rule of thumb not to rely too heavily on psychic readings to live your life, but being open to possibilities, and being open to advice given in earnest, also seems like a good strategy.
Original by: Rebecca Vipond Brink