The first time I visited a psychic was by accident. I was in high school in New Orleans, many years ago. My friend Lana wanted a psychic reading, but she was afraid to go alone. So I went with her. Before we went, a different friend named Cheryl from my after school job requested that I ask the psychic a question for her. She said, "Ask if Mickey is with Daddy." Her father had just died a few months before, but I had no idea who Micky was.
In all the excitement of meeting with the psychic, I forgot all about Cheryl's question. It wasn't my appointment and I wasn't paying for the psychic anyway. Lana was. I was just there to keep Lana company. We had to wait in the front room of the psychic's shotgun style house for about 20 minutes before Lana's appointment. It was a little creepy. Every square inch of each wall was covered by pictures of Jesus, crucifixes, and rosaries, with dozens of statues of the Virgin Mary on little shelves sticking out from the wall. Three small tables in the room were each covered with more than a dozen pure white candles. The air was thick with incense.
When it was finally our turn, we walked down a short hallway to a small side room that was decorated with colorful drapes and printed fabrics hanging on the walls. The only light came from 7 white candles. There was one candle on each of the 4 walls of the room, and 3 on the table that the little white-haired psychic sat behind. She looked like she was ancient.
As soon as Lana and I entered the room, but before we even had a chance to sit down in the two wooden chairs opposite the psychic, she announced, "I see an old, very short and very big-chested woman dressed in an old fashioned black full-length dress buttoned up to the neck. There is something wrong with her face. It is twisted somehow, and she looks like a horse. I also see a tall thin man standing next to her. He is totally bald and he is holding a single rose against his chest. I smell roses too. Stronger than from a single rose. It's more like rose perfume."
I recognized the old woman the psychic was talking about instantly. It was a perfect description of my grandmother, who had died the year before. She had been caught in a fire when she was a young girl and her face was badly burned. The scars gave her a slightly twisted horse face. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't pretty either. Rose perfume was the only perfume she ever wore, and she wore it every day.
Tears came to my eyes. I missed my grandmother very much, and I was overcome with emotion to know that her spirit was still alive. I really had no idea who the tall bald man was, but I didn't ask. I sat in silence through Lana's reading. Every once in a while, the psychic would brush her hands down by her feet, as if she was swatting unseen insects. Once she blurted out, "Shoo! Go away!" and immediately apologized. The psychic said that a small long-haired dog was running around her feet and between her legs, and it was distracting her.
Of course, there was no dog in the room.
The next day when I saw Cheryl, she asked me about the psychic. I had to confess and apologize that I had forgotten to ask her question about Mickey and her father. Cheryl seemed a little disappointed, but not upset. She wanted to know about Lana's and my big psychic adventure, so I told her about it, just as I have told it here.
Cheryl stayed silent and wide-eyed during my story, until I got to the part where the psychic was swatting at the invisible dog at her feet. When Cheryl heard me tell that, she burst into tears. She exclaimed, "Oh, I'm so happy. Mickey IS with Daddy."
"You've forgotten about this, Carmen," Cheryl started to explain, "but when my father died two months ago the family asked that nobody send flowers and instead give the money to charity. You came to his funeral with a single red rose for my mother. It was the only flower there. I never told you this, but my mother put that red rose you brought on my father's chest before we closed the coffin. He was buried with that rose. My father was tall and thin, and very bald. That man with the rose the psychic saw when you and Lana walked into the room was him."
A chill went up my back. "But who is Mickey?" I asked.
Cheryl pause and looked into the distance. "Mickey was Daddy's dog," she continued. "He was Daddy's best friend and companion. Daddy had raised him from a pup. Mickey was a small frisky long-haired dog that was always running around Daddy's feet. Mickey loved to run figure eights between Daddy's legs. Near the end, when Daddy was using a walker, we were so worried that Mickey would trip Daddy that we almost took him away from him, but Daddy would have had a fit. When we came home from Daddy's funeral, we found Micky curled up on Daddy's bed. Mickey died that same day that we buried Daddy."
That was my first experience with a psychic, and it made a big impression on me. The most valuable lesson I needed to learn at that young age was that life goes on even after the body is set aside, and that our loved ones are still with us, always.
Since then I have moved away from New Orleans. I have lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other parts of the country, and I have encountered many different psychics over the years. Some have been good, and some have not. Some have had natural talent and it came easy for them, and some have relied on cards or charts and had to work at it.
But after that first experience of mine, I have never doubted that the ability is genuine and useful. It has shaped my whole idea about death, and what it means. I have many psychic friends. A few of them are professional psychics, but most are not. I have even developed my own psychic and intuitive abilities over the years, but I'm not a professional.
The one thing I have learned about psychics is that they are not all the same, and the ones with the biggest signs or the most impressive advertising may not be the right one for you, right now. You might be drawn to a particular psychic like a magnet, or you may trip over one by accident. But if you are looking for a psychic, you may need to look at several, or even dozens, before something inside of you clicks, and says "This is the one."
The only suggestion I have for you, if you liked my experience with the New Orleans psychic, is to be a little bit open to the possibility that Shakespeare was right when he wrote, "There is more in Heaven and earth than is dreamed of in your philosophy."
If you are looking for a psychic, click this link and follow your own intuition.
Thursday, June 26, 2008