Life List #119: See a psychic.
Seeing a tarot card reader in New Orleans.
I may be one of the most skeptical people you’ll ever meet.
For every extreme political meme you post on Facebook I immediately go to Snopes to fact check. I assume all news stories are grossly exaggerated. I assume all personal stories are grossly exaggerated. I read marketing text and say to myself, “50% fewer calories than what?” And, if you drag me to a motivational speaker, I will probably spend those three hours rolling my eyes and trying to hold back laughter.
I just don’t buy into a lot of crap.
I’m jaded. I’m cynical. I’m skeptical as fuck.
But psychics? Psychics. I love me some psychics.
My first exposure to this alternative realm was at my seventh-grade Halloween dance. One of the classrooms was converted into a reading room where a psychic clad in a gypsy headscarf looked into a crystal ball and told us our future. I remember that she said I had a lot of books in my house and seventh-grade me was like, whoah, mind blown. Nevermind that it was probably actually a gym teacher and she probably actually just knew my family and assumed there were a lot of books around. But then again it probably was a real psychic so don’t ruin this for me guys.
And then there was the psychic at my college’s welcome LateNighter. I was a freshmen. It was one of my first nights on campus. It was one of my first nights away from home. There were tables of psychics set up in the Student Union. I sat down and saw one. And she told me my boyfriend at the time, the obvious love of my life, the one one I was going to keep a long-distance relationship with for the next four years, wasn’t going to be the man I ended up with. She told me the name of the man I would someday marry. And I wish for the life of me that I remembered what she said because it would totally streamline my Tinder swiping. But, I think, at the time, I was so truly offended that I denounced her and denounced what she said and blocked it from my memory.
And then there was the fortune teller hired for my office Christmas party one year. The one who picked a tarot card from her deck and told me that I had a strong connection out West and that she saw either me moving out to Los Angles or someone from there moving to Chicago. I laughed at the time because I had just visited LA the week before but had no desire to move out there. But little did I know (because he’s a secretive asshole who didn’t tell me) the guy I visited was actually in the process of moving back.
And then there was the fortune teller in Istanbul who kept saying, “Oh, that’s a depressing card, pick another one.” And who eventually told me that I was going to meet my next boyfriend in three months time and be married in ten. News flash: still single.
And so, I suppose, my history with psychics, tarot readers, fortune tellers has been kind of hit or miss.
Still, though, I’m fasciated. Yet, still, I never really went out of my way to see one. The ones I’ve seen in my life were always just there.
I was vacationing in New Orleans last week and the city was swimming with voodoo shops, mystic shops, witchcraft shops. So, while I was there, I figured it would be the perfect time to finally, actually see a psychic and get my tarot cards read.
Do tarot card readers really count as psychics? I’m not sure. But, really, are most psychics really psychics? I’m not sure. So, for the purposes here today, let’s just lump in tarot reading into generic psychic-like activity and say that it totally fits the bill. Besides, my tarot reader’s business card says she’s a psychic so even if she wasn’t doing a “psychic” reading she was still totally a psychic. Right?
I paid for a fifteen-minute reading which included one round of tarot predicting what the next six months of my life will be. My reader, Ellie, asked me if I had any specific questions or just wanted a general reading. I went with general because the only specific questions I could think of were, “am I going to ever get married?” and, “when will I get married,” I didn’t really want to hear the answers of “nope,” and, “never,” so general seemed the way to go.
She had me close my eyes and imagine my life as it is now and think of all the questions and uncertainties in my life. And then she pulled the cards.
Of course, the last card she pulled, the final in my series, was the death card. She quickly assured me that it didn’t mean actual death. And then she read them starting at the beginning.
The first card, I’m not sure which it was, symbolized the here and now. Where I am in my life. What I am doing right this moment. She told me that I was someone who was actively working on improving things. That I didn’t just sit around and let life happen, that I worked towards my goals and was always trying hard to improve myself.
That’s true. Especially lately. I’ve been working hard at making my life what I want it to be.
And then she showed me the Ten of Wands. A man carrying more sticks than anyone could bear. A man hunched over, struggling with the weight of the burden. A mother-fucking martyr trying to carry the entire workload himself. “Does this look like you?” she asked. I laughed and said, “yes.” I take on too much. I take on so many things I don’t need to. I struggle to prove myself.
And then she showed me the Devil. “What is standing in your way?” she asked. What is standing in my way of a better job? What is standing in my way of a relationship? What is standing in my way of being happy.
And then she showed me Death. Not physical death but a new beginning. Change. Transformation.
We agreed that there were things standing in my way of my future. We agreed that I need to be more confident, trusting, delegate more to take some of those wands off my back, to lighten my load. We agreed that there is change on the horizon.
Was she really a real psychic? I don’t know. Can tarot cards really show you the future? I don’t know. Was my tarot reading life-changing? I don’t know.
I mean, in reality she really didn’t tell me anything I haven’t been telling myself for years. And, I suppose, everything she said was maybe just a little generic, things that could probably be tailored to anyone, things that could probably apply to anyone.
But, when you hear it from “the universe,” that makes it all the more true. You listen. You try just a bit harder. And I will try, over the next six months, a little bit harder.
And, really, it was kind of like cheap therapy anyways. (Or expensive therapy, 15 minutes cost $35. I don’t know what therapy costs.)
So, we’ll see how the next six months go. We’ll see if the tarot is sending me the right way. And, who knows, maybe in six months I’ll see another tarot reader to see what the next six months hold.
But, in the mean time, just know: this skeptic is just hoping that that death card really didn’t mean actual death.