I asked four Toronto-based psychics to predict what lies ahead for me in 2013. Here’s the tale of my city-wide, fortune-telling journey.
I’ve always been the curious type, and with a new year upon us, it’s hard not to wonder what joys and tragedies 2013 might hold. While I don’t own a crystal ball, and I can’t see into the future, there are those who can (or who at least put on an act convincing enough to claim they can). Everyone is familiar with the fortune teller’s chicanery: They’ll do a reading for cheap, then suddenly tell you have a curse or some other perilous spiritual dilemma. They’ll say they can help you, but only for a fee. Most people believe these soothsayers dispense complete nonsense, but others will tell you they’ve found comfort, even guidance, in the insights of these mystic readers.
Toronto is home to a wealth of professional psychics who claim to be the real deal. Some of them even offer their services to police forces, media outlets, and businesses. Could there be a shred of truth to their readings, or is it all about subtly telling people what they want to hear? Since 2012 was a tough year, and I’d like to know whether or not 2013 will treat me a little better, I decided to find out.
Location: The Occult Shop, 1373 Bathurst St. (#SCW)
Psychic name: Chris
Services: Tarot and spiritual counselling.
Background: Fourteen years of experience reading tarot and offering spiritual guidance.
The vibe: The reading takes place in the secluded back room of an empty apartment above this St. Clair and Bathurst storefront. The room holds a desk filled with trays, and Chris and I sit across from each other. A bust of a Roman centurion rests upon an adjacent table. Chris sips a Starbucks coffee and laughs loudly and often throughout the reading.
The reading: Before we begin, Chris asks me what I want to know about. I give him my list of concerns: money, career, relationships, and travel. He lays out the tarot cards in a cross pattern, with nine cards on the side arranged in rows of three.
Sadly, he doesn’t see much in the cards pertaining to financial gains or travel. There is some cause for positivity, however. “Whatever is hanging over your head right now will soon resolve itself very quickly,” he says, cryptically. I tell him that’s great, because I’ve been under a lot of stress lately.
I should also be meeting a new girl soon. Sometime in the next month she will walk into my life, but she might be “hard to nail down” at first. She could be a hippie, maybe an artist, possibly even “the ADHD type.” Hmm.
Other than that, the reading consists mostly of advice on how I can adjust certain lifestyle habits to defeat the problems holding me back. Suggestions include: meditate on Mondays, learn to budget, be more intuitive, and make lists. In other words, tidbits of advice that would be helpful to almost anyone.
After this first reading, my future still looks positively murky. I head downtown to try to get a clearer view.
Location: Toronto Love Psychic, 65 Elm St. (#DTN)
Psychic name: Vanessa
Services: Tarot, crystal-ball predictions, palm readings, and chakra alignments. Vanessa concentrates on love and relationship issues.
Price: $40 to $90, depending on what you’re looking for.
Background: Twenty-two years of experience in the business, trained by her grandmother.
The vibe: I ring the doorbell and Vanessa cheerfully welcomes me into a small, ground-floor room with a bay window looking out onto the street. The room is very hot, and it’s full of display cases holding voodoo dolls, incense, crystals, and other New Age-y bric-a-brac. She sits across from me at an angle and gazes in my direction with her cool, brown eyes.
The reading: As we sit and talk in this warm little room, Vanessa shuffles the tarot deck for about five minutes. She puts the deck down and asks me to cut it into three piles, then choose one of them. I go with the stack on my left, and she lays them out on the table in a Celtic cross pattern. The first card is the blacksmith. The last card, which she lays on top of it, is the eagle of prosperity with the ace of coins in its talons. “This is you at your work,” she says, referring to the blacksmith. Then she points to the ace of coins, saying, “And this means the prosperity and wealth will come.”
“What a relief,” I tell her.
Vanessa goes on to say I’ll meet a lot of interesting people in 2013, and that if I keep doing what I’m doing, all my hard work will soon pay off. “I see travel in your future,” she says. “I see you in a jungle. Somewhere in a small country where people don’t speak English.”
I tell her that sounds exciting, and that I’d love to travel. (Who wouldn’t?)
Regrettably, the love psychic doesn’t see a big relationship in my near future, since I’m too focused on work. However, she says I’ll meet a special lady when I’m 34. “I think that’ll be a big year for you,” she says.
That’s an awfully long time to wait for some action. I thank her, pay the fee, and escape back into the wintry night. Hopefully, the next reader on my psychic tour has a different vision.
Location: Intuitive Soul, 43 Fernwood Park Ave. (#BCH)
Psychic Name: Laurie Huston
Services: Intuitive counselling
Background: Huston has a degree in social work and was employed in the field for 20 years before switching careers. She’s been an intuitive counsellor for 10 years.
The vibe: Huston welcomes me into her cozy Beaches apartment on the top floor of a house near the lake. There’s a table set up with a mixer and two mics where she broadcasts her CBS radio show, and a white cat sleeps on a sling back chair. On the table is a tray with various gems and crystals.
The reading: After shuffling the tarot deck, Huston hands it over to me. “I need you to put your energy into it,” she says. I shuffle the deck, then cut it into three piles representing my past, present, and future. She flips the piles over and spreads them out to reveal the first four or five cards. Concerning the future, she says I must have courage, faith, and trust in what is to come. There’s also a “major wish card” in there. Interesting…
She stacks the cards into one pile and lays them out in the Celtic cross pattern. As we go along, she lays out three more cards on top of each one, telling a more complete story.
Huston says things in my career will pick up over the next year, and I’ll meet a lot of interesting people. There could be a column in my future, perhaps by the end of the year, and travel related to my work as well. “It’s some place with money. Someplace like New York, or England, or Paris maybe,” she says. Huston also sees me taking a vacation towards the end of the year but, unlike Vanessa’s reading, there’s no indication of a jungle.
She sees love as well, even marriage potential. I ask her if she can tell me anything more about this mystery girl. She focuses on the cards and says the woman in my future will work in an alternative health field.
Feeling very satisfied, I leave the reading with my chin up. These psychic sessions, if nothing else, can be good ego boosters.
Location: 1792 Dundas St. E.
Psychic name: Tara Greene
Services: Greene mainly does corporate events and parties, but also holds private readings. She creates natal charts and interprets the lines and symbols, revealing details of past lives and inner desires. She also offers many other psychic services including tarot, palm readings, crystal-ball predictions, and numerology.
Price: $150 for a personal reading.
Background: Greene has been doing this for most of her life. She estimates she’s done over 26,000 readings throughout her career.
The vibe: Greene is professional, friendly, and organized. At her east-end house, she introduces me to her seven-month-old German shepherd and offers me a cup of coffee. We sit down in the living room at a table set up with a tarot deck and a complement of quartz crystals and colourful stones. A white pine Christmas tree stands in the corner.
The reading: When I called to book my appointment, Greene asked for my birthdate to complete my natal chart. I’m surprised to hear she has the same birthday. “It’s a rare birthdate,” she says. “Not many people have it.”
Greene starts off our session by explaining my chart. To me, it looks like a big wheel with the zodiac symbols around it and a bunch of blue and red zig-zagging lines. She uses it to go into exhaustive detail about my personality, past lives, and karmic bonds. She explains the transits of the planets, and says that now is a good time to publish a book, because Jupiter is in Gemini. In June, it will move into Cancer, so I need to get cracking on that before it’s too late.
She asks me to pick up the tarot deck and shuffle it with my left hand. This proves to be an awkward task for a right-handed person, especially with her extra-large cards. I do it with a few clumsy spills, then cut the deck into three piles, restack them, and hand them back. She lays the cards out in a Celtic cross and peers into my future.
“This is a very good reading,” she says. Once again, the cards say I’ll meet someone new this year. But Greene, dangling a pointed brass weight over one of the cards and holding a quartz crystal in her other hand, digs deep for more and comes up with a description.
We’ll meet on a work assignment in March or April, and she will be a schoolteacher with brown hair, glasses, a sweet voice, and an almost childlike laugh. “It will start out as innocent flirting, but I think you might be a little shy at first,” she says.
Bountiful opportunities will come, work-related travel will happen, and I’ll meet many interesting people. I’ll enjoy a time of abundance this year, but only after a lot of hard work. In the spring, I’ll move into a new place, and she sees me venturing off to Vancouver or Northern Ontario.
Greene can’t see one bad thing in my future, even when I ask her to find something. “I think you have all the answers for what you’re looking for,” she says.
On New Year’s Day, I wake up on a friend’s floor with a mild hangover. Now that 2013 is finally here, all these predictions will be put to the test. I leave my friend’s apartment after breakfast and quickly spot a toonie in the snow. I pick it up and dust it off. The future looks brighter already.