“Okay, I’m going to that woman in the center of the room. You should wait for her too,” my friend said. She smiled and pointed to a middle-aged woman with dark brunette hair. “You’re supposed to tip them at the counter after you get your reading.”
I looked over at the woman shuffling cards in the center of the indie book shop. She was sitting alone at a table with another empty chair giving us, the next people in line, the clue that she was nearly ready for her next Tarot reading. The other chairs that surrounded the woman were packed within the small bookshop and were filled with psychics and mediums on one side and paying customers on the other. I looked at each person receiving the reading as they diverted their attention mostly on the growing pile of Tarot cards that were laid out on all the draped table cloth in front of them.
“Okay,” I said. I wasn’t sure if I believed in Tarot readings at that point, but I didn’t want to waste an opportunity to try something new. I went in with the mindset that I would act as an open-minded skeptic, but I ended up receiving the most interesting reading I’ve ever received instead.
I waited for my friend to go ahead and get her reading. She mentioned before that a few of her other friends from LA had come to visit her in Palm Springs and got their readings done. “As soon as they got back into the city, their readings came true, and they went to the same woman,” she said as we walked up the street poking our heads in and out of small touristy shops.
When she was done with her reading she walked back over towards me where I was standing. I had been glancing out of the large open window letting light and passing images of other Palm Springs day-trippers. I turned to see my friend’s face frozen in shock from whatever news she had heard from the psychic. It was as though she had heard a word from God herself.
“I think I did hear a word from God,” she said as she slipped a five-dollar bill into the psychic’s tip jar on the bookshop’s checkout counter.
Well, it’s something to do, I thought to myself as I walked over to the table. I clutched the five-dollar bill in my pocket that my friend gave me to tip the psychic at the end since I never carried cash. I would just pay her back with a bougie coffee at some café. I grabbed the empty seat that the psychic had motioned for me to take and I sat down. The woman said her name and introduced herself. She went on to explain her whole card-reading process, what she believed, and how I was to view or possibly use her advice derived from her tools—the cards.
“They’re not Tarot cards. They’re angel cards,” the woman said. The psychic shuffled beautiful cards decorated with bold and cool colors. There were images of angelic beings that posed delicately on each of the cards as though they were sparkling diamonds and gems arranged behind a glass display table of fine jewelry. “So, this is your future if you continue along the same path that you are going now.”
I said nothing with the intention of not giving any information away to avoid getting duped. It became more of a field study than a quick downtown psychic reading for fun while escaping the dry heat of the desert swirling around outside the shop.
She continued, “You’re going to have a big shift, and then you are going to go back to nature.”
I paused, “What?”
“You are going to start going out into nature more. You used to find solace in it as a child, and you will go back into nature now as an adult. It will become a big part of your life.” The psychic laid out cards and pointed to aspects of the decorative symbols and embellishments as she placed them down. Cards that I had no clue of their existence just minutes before were spread out on top of a white table cloth draped over the small café table.
“And there is another thing,” she said while looking down at the cards. “You can become a psychic too if you wanted.”
“Umm,” I looked at the woman who laid another card down.
“I mean, yes, everyone has the potential for psychic abilities, but some people can catch on better than others,” she said as she began collecting her pile of cards from the table. “Were there any questions about anything I mentioned during the reading?”
“Umm, no, I think I’m good,” I replied, unsure of how to respond to a potential magically witchy multi-level-marketing scheme I may have nearly fallen into that day. I wasn’t completely convinced of the authenticity of every psychic. As someone who was raised Catholic, the thought of possibly practicing “the craft” was alarming to my small-town self. However, I have always been open to the possibility of real psychics. “Thank you,” I said as I got up to leave.
“Well, you can always come back and request me anytime I’m available,” the psychic said. She had finished collecting her cards and turning them so that the rectangular cardstock were neatly stacked and facing one direction. “I can answer any questions you have.”
“Oh, okay,” I said as I walked over to the counter at the entrance of the small book shop. I dropped the five-dollar bill in the jar, and my friend and I left to find a drink and some pizza.
I thought about this reading for the first time when I joined this adventure group in grad school nearly a year to the date from the reading. I was suddenly going on backpacking trips, regular hiking trips, kayaking in the ocean, paddle boarding, camping, and doing all these outdoorsy things that I always wanted to do but never thought I could until I just did it.
I thought about this psychic reading again during this global pandemic that gave me nothing else for me to do but hike in the sections of nature woven throughout Southern California. It seems like the safest socially distanced gathering that can satisfy your travel bug, give you your nature fix, and dash a sense of adventure into your life. I wasn’t sure if I had been influenced by her words or if she really told my future, but I have been out in nature ever since. The words the psychic spoke resonated with me one way or another.