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I went to see a psychic healer, here’s what happened

WORDS BY GENEVIEVE PHELAN

Prophetic or pathetic? 

I’ve always had a lukewarm interest in things like astrology, palm readings and psychics. I shouldn’t (and don’t) lump those in the same basket, but they do exist in the realm of ‘things most people are sceptical about’.

These polarising theories and practices have always intrigued me because I like being told what my future entails, or why I do the things I do, and I also enjoy someone making me feel special. Ha, don’t we all? I used to read daily horoscopes from astrology.com to my Year 12 homeroom each morning, just for some spice and flavour and subjective interpretation to start the day. 


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It was in my first ever writing internship that I lost faith in reading horoscopes online, mainly because I would be the one writing them on a Friday morning (usually very hungover). It would mainly consist of me writing “Scorpio, you’re having a shit one”, and moving on. 

Anyway, at present-tense, I’m still checking my Co-Star app each day in search of meaning. I also firmly believe my birth chart is some strange prophetic talisman – my mum even laminated it and passed it around at my 21st birthday. It said I’d have a career in the written word and my female relationships would be the most important thing to me. Spooky. 

It was the other weekend, on a girl’s trip to Daylesford, that a new-ish friend Emily told us about her recent psychic healing visit. She was ecstatic about the experience, telling us about some seriously uncanny observations and premonitions that came out of her visit to a woman running sessions out of her humble Melbourne abode. 

I’m sort of fumbling around a bit, trying to run my own business this year, living between mum’s and my boyfriend’s, but feeling pretty steady for once. In saying that, I’m always thinking of the next thing — when’s my next holiday, who’s my next client, am I in the right place, am I doing the right things? It meant a visit to this elusive psychic was like a beacon of possible direction and affirmation for me. It’s also an obvious source of content, so it’s a win-win.

It’s weird, because a trip to the psychic healer is not entirely dissimilar to a psychologist appointment. I mean, on a very broad and vague level, you’re sitting one-on-one with a person who is asking you to delve into your deepest darkest past and present feelings, insecurities, battles and triumphs. 

I will say straight off the bat: if you’re looking for a cathartic conversation with someone unbiased about life, you’re much better off putting money towards a psychologist than a psychic healer. You can also get some money back from Medicare for it. Sorry, not sorry. 

I went into my psychic session with an open mind and a hopeful, naive little heart. My heart is actually what kicked off the conversation with Mary (an alias, yes). Apparently, my heart is where she felt the most energy coming from. Mary then told me a bit about what she does and how her sessions go, which gave me some direction for how the next hour was about to go down. The hour itself cost $140, for context. Woops. 

Anyway, so Mary explained how her abilities involve being able to tap into my subconscious energy. She connects with the spirits around us, like the conduit between the metaphysical and the physical. Mary’s method involves closing her eyes and communicating with these spirits, scribbling any messages that come in real-time on a notepad in front of her. I cannot see this notepad, but some things are hitting the page. 

The first thing Mary felt was about the way I process the world around me. She told me I feel things differently to other people and am “very gifted”. I shit you not, her words exactly. This was obviously a serious hype-up for my Thursday afternoon. She then went on to explain that part of this “gifted”-ness was my ability to actually see and predict the future. I mean, I don’t think I can. But then again, you could interpret this as my forward-thinking, planning and long-game-playing, which are things I do pride myself on. 

My sceptical thoughts began to creep in (sadly) when Mary mentioned she was getting visions of a playground fall at the age of three. I couldn’t give her much feedback, as my memories start at a Santa visit in kindergarten. She told me to ask my mother, which I later did, but nothing rang a bell. Oh well. 

Next up was the age 16. She’d written ‘16’ down and prompted me to think about what happened that year. It’s a shame, because a lot of shit went down in literally every other year before and after 16 that I could’ve drawn on. 16 was a blip on the radar year. Damn.

I forgot to mention that I gave Mary NO details about myself. Why? Because if you had my email or full name, you could search me on Google and read every single anecdote about my life on Fashion Journal. She could’ve said she senses some recurring UTIs, and I’d have been like, “OMG, YES”. The only detail I shared was in response to her first question: “What do you do for a living?”. I said I was a writer. 

I think my occupation led a bit of the discussion, because she told me to go with ideas that come from my heart and not my mind. Mary said I should write what I want to, rather than writing stuff I don’t enjoy for others. She also told me I could be doing something much bigger and have so much more potential than what I’m harnessing now.

I guess that could relate to the occasional painstaking copywriting task that reaps good monetary reward, but doesn’t ignite much creativity or joy. Or perhaps it connects to my biggest career goal ever, which is to write something bigger than an article, like a book. Oh, she also told me I am “the voice of my generation”, which was very sweet but very grandiose and made me laugh.

One of the things Mary said (that could be argued as truth) would be the way I am “influenced by others”. Sometimes, I think I care too much about what people think. But then again, don’t most of us? I just found the entire hour difficult and disappointing, as it is totally steered by what I said. For example, when I was aked “What happened in your past that’s holding you back?”, I could’ve answered in so many different ways.

Which past was it? Like, yesterday or 10 years ago? I also felt frustrated by how many times she asked me if I had any questions. I didn’t, because I wanted her to lead the whole dialogue. I WANTED IT TO BE REAL AND SCARILY ACCURATE. She asked me more vague and big questions like “Are you where you want to be?”. Again, something that is so totally open-ended and could be answered in innumerable ways.

It just felt like every question in the second half of my session was clutching at straws for possible inferences about my life. My open mind was well and truly closed when Mary told me I have a big decision to make, and that I’m going away somewhere soon. For the first time in ages, I have no big decisions to make. I’m just trying to build up a business, enjoy my relationship and save some money at home for a while.

Things in my life are pretty hectic but relatively stable. I’m also travelling absolutely nowhere soon, instead, I’m anticipating doing my next big Europe trip in June 2023 in lieu of this year. She left me with the ominous warning to “Say no” if anyone asks me to go anywhere. Shame.

I actually enjoyed the final mindfulness activity she did with me, involving me visualising jumping in a body of water until I saw a beautiful pink butterfly and chased it. Apparently, this butterfly is the force of creativity and energy and beauty I should follow for the rest of my life. Mary said, “Then, you’ll forget about why you were stomping in the water in the first place”. 

I don’t want to close myself off to the possibility of profound psychic experiences. But this one kind of sucked, in all honesty. Maybe, I’ll have a delayed revelation and take back everything I’ve written here. But when I compare this $140 hour to the spot-on $10 palm reading I had on Fifth Avenue in New York in 2019, I feel ripped off.

That palm reading was the reason I quit my then job, recognised relationship sabotage patterns I’d been stuck in, and was told “If you want to build a cherry farm, you’ll build a cherry farm”, which is a metaphor for how fucking stubborn and headstrong I am. Maybe this psychic healer session was too interpretative and vague for me.

I’m the kind of person who goes into a makeup appointment or haircut and puts all faith and creative rein in the hands of the expert. Will I spend an absurd amount of money on a very polarising experience again? Abso-bloody-lutely. Should you? If it gives you some clarity or guidance or even room for introspection, go for it. We’re all just searching for meaning and affirmation and guidance in life.

Genevieve Phelan is Fashion Journal’s Lifestyle and Careers Columnist. Her writing fuses introspection with investigation, calling on her own personal anecdotes and the advice of admired experts in the realms of intimacy, money, friendship, careers and love. You can find her here and here.

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