Psychic, soothsayer or scam?

June 4, 2014
crystal bll

Yes, I have a crystal ball.

Ever wanted to know if someone could predict your future? There’s nothing more fascinating to us than the future: planning for it, saving for it, thinking about it and yes, even predicting it. Some people, including me, are fascinated by people who claim they can see the future.

If this is where I lose you, I understand. Not everyone thinks this is possible and some even think it’s demonic. I do think it’s possible and have had numerous experiences to back my belief up. Since a few of you have asked, I’m going to talk a little about them.

The underpinning of my belief is that we’re a primitive society and there’s much we don’t know about the way things work.

What?! You might protest. We’re technologically advanced! We have Google! Ipads!

Yeah, that’s what we all thought when we saw the first calculator. Looking back, we can see how far we’ve come. But we’re always going to be moving forward on that same path and it would be misguided to think we know how anything really works. Including time and space. Just ask Albert Einstein.

Because I believe we have a lot to learn, my mind is open to things that can not be explained today. So that’s my base line belief, the one that allows me to embrace possibility.

When I was a little girl I could read adults’ minds most of the time. This was very disturbing, not because of what I learned, but because I thought everyone could do this. And that meant adults could read MY mind, too. Oh, that was upsetting! I remember this distinctly.

Here’s where the story really begins

In time those thoughts dissipated, but I remained super-intuitive about people and am still able to read moods and feelings pretty easily. I’ve got a huge BS detector and usually tell when someone is lying. Yes, people I know in real life, you can run, but you can not hide: I do this with you all the time!

In the mid-1980s I was freelancing for a local business publication. My second marriage was failing and I’d left my husband, but we were still seeing each other. I had a full-time PR job, but freelance writing was my passion at the time. One day my editor asked me to visit a well-known local gypsy psychic and ask her how the local elections would pan out.

I made an appointment under my writing name, which my employer insisted upon my using to freelance, since I was also a company spokesperson. I was wearing my wedding rings, even though my husband and I were living apart.

virgin mShe ushered me into a room full of religious icons that looked Catholic to me. We sat at a small table and I began to ask questions.

“I don’t predict political events,” she told me. “But let me read your cards.”

I demurred—I’d never had a tarot reading, never even thought about it. But she insisted and I thought, “Oh, what the hell. I’m here.”

She laid out a tarot pattern and then said:

“You’re separated from your husband.”

That got my attention. I was wearing my wedding rings. The name under which I booked the appointment was my writing name, not my real name and even my real name was not my husband’s, as I retained my birth name. It was unlikely she knew anything about my life.

I nodded.

“Are you renting or did you buy a place?”

I was tempted to say, You’re the psychic, you tell me. But I didn’t.

I had rented a condo but until our separation I had been living in a house we’d built.

“Renting.” That’s all I said.

“Well,” she said. “don’t buy a place. You’re leaving town. Moving.”

No, I wasn’t. I had no plans to move. Where would I go? I had two jobs and a life built over 12 years in my city. I was becoming a big fish in a small pond, actually.

“Oh, but you are. You are moving. You’re going on a trip in a few weeks, right?”

I was. A business trip.

“On that trip you will meet someone who will be the catalyst for your move.” She then described him.

I thanked her for the free reading and left. I never got my story, but my girlfriends and I got a good laugh.

Two weeks later I left for West Palm Beach. It was a business conference. In the exhibition hall I met a man who looked like the description I’d been given. He put the full court press on me to come to California to talk with him about partnering in a business.

A few weeks later I saw California for the first time. Two months later I had moved. The business deal with him went south quickly, but the gypsy had been right: the man I met had been the catalyst for my move.

All of my girlfriend called for readings.

psychicNow, you could say that the reading predisposed me to move across country. But the fact is that making a cross-country move alone is no small thing. Leaving a man I thought I loved was no easy matter. I don’t look too closely at all the “rational” explanations because there was no rational reason for me to move 3,000 miles away to a place where I knew no one.

That was my first experience with a psychic. But not my last.

My acclimation to California was difficult. As the business deal went south, I found it nearly impossible to get a job in high tech. Tech experience was necessary to get a job but without a job I couldn’t get the experience. I went back to my old city for a visit and called on the gypsy.

“I’m thinking about coming back,” I told her.

“No,” she said. “There is nothing for you here. Nothing.”

And she was right. I remained in California.

Like Columbus, I sought a new world

As years passed I wasn’t exactly a psychic groupie, but slowly, I began to explore that world. Very slowly, with an open mind but a show me attitude. I sought definitive proof. I found scam artists and I also found people who were accurate. I wasn’t exactly a pushover in this arena and I’m still not. By nature I’m an observer and I watch closely. There are times when I have my reservations and then there are times when there is no rational explanation for how something is known.

I’ve seen a lot of John Edward, the medium who had a couple of TV shows. I’ve seen him in groups as large as 2,000 and as small as 11. Except for my very first time, I am always read. Always. The most obscure things come up, too. Accurate.

John’s the real deal.

tarotA couple years ago sister-in-love and I went to NY for an 11-person reading in John’s town. In the months before the reading, an unbidden thought came into my mind.

“What if this reading is mostly for her? What if I go all this way at all this expense and it’s not for me?” I couldn’t shake the thought. I have to be okay with it, came into my head. Over and over.

In fact, the reading was mostly for her, but it was primarily about my family’s weirdness – far too personal to blog about— and it was uncannily accurate. She and I still talk about it. For example, who would know her father had only one eye? He’d been gone for decades.

Looking back, it was clear that I was being told that this reading would be mostly for her and that I should not resent it.  Sure, you can say that it was my worry and that it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s possible. I think it was a message meant to prepare me.  The reason? Because from time to time I’m given messages and always, always, the reason comes out later.

For years I never talked about any of this, really. But as I’ve grown older I’ve also grown in confidence about my beliefs and my faith. Even my husband—formerly an atheist—has shifted on the continuum to “agnostic.”

“Either there’s something to this, or you’re someone who has an awful lot of coincidences in her life,” he says now. Because he’s seen much of this happen. First hand.

Like the day last year when we dropped in on a card reader in Capitola and she predicted something that happened that afternoon.

More on that tomorrow. I am in Portland, OR for the Fourth Annual Afterlife Conference I’ll be here through Sunday and will share my experiences when I return.

43 comments on “Psychic, soothsayer or scam?
  1. Mary Anne says:

    Ok-you’ve got me-can’t wait for the next post -have fun at the conference!

  2. Roz Warren says:

    I don’t have a crystal ball and probably never will but I enjoy reading about your adventures in this realm. (Typp alert! “sister-in-love”)

  3. Wow Carol…What a story. I don’t know what i believe but keep them coming!

  4. I am afraid to know anything about the future! But I loved reading this and can’t wait for your next post, Carol.

  5. Barbara says:

    Enjoy and learn and grow and share. Did I predict your weekend?
    Fascinating stuff, Carol. I love it when people say yes to the universe.

  6. kim tackett says:

    I’m hooked. I’ve had a few readings and they have always surprised me with their accuracy, though none have been as dramatic as yours. I do hope you’re including these stories in your book!

  7. Hi Carol! I think you’ve probably predicted that I definitely believe that there is way more to life that what we can see and imagine on physical world. I too have gone to a couple of psychics. The first one I went to was a tea leaf reader back in 1977. I had just broken up with my fiance at the time and a bunch of us girls from the office went. She told me that I would meet AND marry my husband that year (it was January). I laughed at her. Two months later I met Thom and 37 years later here we are. Of course we also went and saw a VERY FAMOUS medium from England in the mid-80s who told us that we would be having two sons. We laughed at that because we planned for none and Thom had taken medical steps to ensure that wouldn’t happen. And yes, we are childfree. I have sense come to the conclusion, at least for me, that while some people are much more sensitive to our spiritual vibrations and can pick that up, if I’m paying attention to my own (staying mindful and aware) I can also tell what’s going on for me–and doing that is right for me. Interesting post and provocative ideas. 🙂 I’m looking forward to hearing about your conference…. Kathy

  8. Rachee says:

    I’ve always held psychics as people to be avoided. It scares me and I think it’s because it’s the great unknown. Your post makes me think that there is nothing to fear and more to learn. Looking forward to reading and learning more.

    • There are many scam artist and you really have to look and research to find those who are real. Of course, every one of them has their detractors, professional skeptics, even. Reputable psychics will not tell you bad news, although we did get the darkest reading I’ve ever heard anyone give when the two of us were in John’s small group–and we both emerged thinking he had more that he didn’t say. That is HIGHLY unusual and probably in this case appropriate. I would suggest reading some books on the subject first and seeing what you think. Psychics are not the same as mediums (who speak to the dead), so be sure you know which you might be interested in. If it’s afterlife, I highly recommend Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander, MD and Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian Weiss, MD, as well as the book that started it all: Life After Life by Raymond Moody, MD. Are you getting the drift here–doctors! Yep. Not accidental.

  9. I have never been to a psychic but have always wanted to. I think there is something to it although I haven’t had the time to explore it like I would like. I think some people are more sensitive than others. I know I’m definitely not although I wish I were and I absolutely love John Edwards. I have always dreamed of having a reading with him. There are so many things I would like to find out. Thanks for this Carol!

  10. Janie Emaus says:

    I had quite an experience with a psychic a few years ago. She did predict some things that came true, but not exactly as she said. If that makes any sense.

    • Perfect sense. I asked the card reader way back if I would have children and she hesitated and then said, “you’d better do it soon.” I heard that as “no” and that was what happened. I had no children, she just wasn’t going to tell me bad news. But she did tell me by not telling me. If that makes sense.

  11. Ruth Curran says:

    As the years pass, I find myself not asking “why” quite as much when the answer is not right in front of me. At 20 or even 30 or maybe 40 I would have asked for the empirical proof. We don’t always need to know why someone has a deeper understanding or how (s)he came in to our lives — it is OK to just roll with it. Gifts of age?

    • There are so many things we know now that we didn’t know 100 years ago or 1000 years ago. I believe we are very primitive in how we view these things. 😉 You might see a series on Netflix called The Pyramid Code, which shakes up our thinking of Egypt’s history. My husband and I hare halfway through and engrossed in it.

  12. I absolutely believe there are people with powers far beyond what we can comprehend.

    • We all have this power if we choose to tap into it. I was one of those Catholic girls terrified that the Virgin Mary might appear to me like she did to St. Bernadette. LOL “No, no! don’t come to me!”

  13. Darla Sue Dollman says:

    I’ve always been interested in this topic, but I don’t want to pay for someone to tell me things I already know about myself, and most of the time I think I’d rather not know little tidbits about my future–surprise me. I think I would pay if they told me something useful, like the answer to a mystery that’s been bothering me for years, that sort of thing.

    • There is never any guarantee about what you might or might not hear. It’s not like going to the store and ordering up what you want, unfortunately. You get what you get. I have really wanted to talk with my late mother but instead, my late father has been very very chatty from the Afterlife. We had some unfinished business in life but after his death we cleaned it up. I never have talked to my mother, but hope springs eternal! It’s important to have no expectations going in so you are not disappointed.

  14. Kymberly says:

    I knew you were going to say that.

  15. Linda Roy says:

    I have always been fascinated by and open to the idea of such unexplained super natural phenomena too. I’ve always wanted a crystal ball and yours is beautiful! Can you believe I’ve never had a reading? One day I will. But I’m learning a bit about tarot cards.

  16. Diane says:

    I think that many people are sensitive to stimuli around them that most of us miss. Physical, mental, psychic. I had a former high school boyfriend that I hadn’t seen in over 40 years (yes, I’m that old) contact me to get together for lunch. I was all excited. I love meeting up with the old crowd and exchanging stories. Then a thought suddenly came to me that he was divorcing wife #2 and was actively looking for wife #3. I changed the parameters of our lunch, conspicuously including my beloved husby in the arrangements, though he wouldn’t be able to actually join us. Sure enough, halfway through the lunch HSBF announced that he had filed for divorce from his wife. There is no way I could have known that. That impression saved a lot of embarrassment and hasty explanations.

  17. Lana says:

    I agree – there’s so much we don’t know – I’m always open to new possibilities. On my sister’s honeymoon, a palm reader told her she was pregnant. They laughed at the idea – but she was! Probably only a few days. Cool story – can’t wait to hear more. Have a great weekend!

    • I almost always knew when a friend was pregnant. Don’t know how, but Iout of nowhere I’d ask–are you pregnant?” and the answer was always YES! That was back in the day when my peers actually did get pregnant. Now I don’t have to ask, I know we’re in menopause!

  18. Dave Sumner says:

    What an interesting post. I look forward to reading your report of the conference. As an intuitive person I have always found that I am much better at reading/helping/understanding others than I am at knowing what to do in my own future. It is often quite clear what others should do and I am usually correct. This has helped me guide, mentor, and coach others but sometimes find myself at a loss for my own answers. I do believe that we can learn and get better through meditation and study, but I also wonder if there isn’t some law of the universe that makes it harder to help yourself. It makes sense there would be something like that to help make us kinder to other people while working harder on ourselves (and while turning to our fellow man for help and answers for ourselves – a way of encouraging community and positive interactions). I would be interested if you learn anything about that, or if others have experienced it.

    • You may be right and I’ll be on the lookout for info about that, although I predict (LOL) they’re going to say “no”. If you haven’t read Brian Weiss’ Many Lives, Many Masters, do so. There is no question that it is all about love and kindness.

  19. Haralee says:

    I totally believe. Will be interesting to hear your take. Where are you staying, I can give recommendations for your free time eating and sight seeing. If you are interested message me!

    • The meeting’s at Red Lion Jantzen Beach, but there is no free time at all–except for Sunday afternoon, when a friend who lives here is picking me up. But I’m sure hubby and I will be here on vacation at some point and I’ll ping yo u then. Thanks!

  20. Wow, this is fascinating. My big question with psychics is what you’re supposed to do with the information they tell you. So, yes, you were told you would be moving. Does that mean, like you said, that maybe that prediction was a catalyst for your decision to actually move? I’ve had readings that also have come true but I’m not 100% sure what the point is of getting that knowledge early. Am eager to hear more!

  21. I too have seen far too much to not believe. I rarely talk about my experiences. My daughters and I were out one night and decided to visit a psychic that was offering readings in the club. He told us so much but then told us we were going to have a terribly violent weekend, he was physically upset and told us he couldn’t lie to us and we needed to go home. My brother was killed in a random road rage attack that night. My daughters and I have been terrified to go back but I recently called a radio show and talked to a medium. She told me three things that were private between my brother and I (we were very close.) She asked me if I suffered a lot of losses lately because she had people screaming in her head trying to talk to me. Yes I just lost my Dad, my bff and another close friend. I am still sort of in shock at how real this woman was.
    I need to go see Edwards, I’m scared but I need to do it.

  22. Cheri says:

    Thinking of you in Portland and can’t wait to read your posts while you’re at the conference!

  23. Tammy says:

    It all makes perfect sense to me. Although if you ask me to explain it I would be at a loss. It’s real. It’s true. And I believe it’s there to help us get through things and come out the other side better and more whole. Looking forward to your next post!

  24. Pat says:

    Hi Carol … it was great talking with you earlier today. Loved your post today. Brings back memories for me of the Carol that I had first met in California.

  25. I’ve searched….but have yet to find an experience that makes me a believer. I’m willing though.

  26. Joyce says:

    John Edward is coming to Memphis and I’d love to see him, but the tickets are way out of my budget. My husbands not about to shell $300 out for someone he’s never heard of.

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