Wednesday, February 1, 2023

I Saw Five NZ Psychics In Two Years… Here’s Why I Would (Mostly) Recommend This

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Two break-ups, five NZ psychics… why not? Emma Clifton takes you back in time to explain how she spend most of her disposable income from 2016-2018

A few years ago, I was reading Kate Atkinson’s truly excellent crime book, titled When Will There Be Good News?, and the title become a bit of a joke because, well, when will there be good news? I was reminded of this while writing this piece because you could sum up the very many different reasons people go to psychics by asking this exact question. When things are muddled and confusing, or you’ve suffered a massive loss, or you’ve backed your life into a corner, you will look for answers, and for hope, anywhere you can find it.

When I tell people about my experiences, they either lean in immediately OR roll their eyes immediately but more often than not, they want to know one thing.

So let’s just get that out of the way: yes, a lot of what some of them said came true. And then a lot of it DIDN’T come true as well.

Whether or not that’s just life and free will, or a version of a broken clock is right twice a day, I couldn’t tell you. I know a lot of people who have found great comfort in visiting a psychic, because we don’t live in a world that really ever offers closure and so sometimes you need to get outside of this world to find it. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t go to a psychic if you paid them to and think the entire thing is inane bullshit. But as someone who has both feet FIRMLY planted on either side of the woowoo line, I present you my five experiences.

#1 Your Industry Will Implode

This was the second time my BFF and I had gone to see a psychic together and this was immediately better than the first time, when the psychic had one of us sit in her bedroom and watch The Simpsons while the other one had their session. This time, we still went separately but at least the other person got to play with three Persian cats while the other went through the nitty gritty of their emotional health (read: boy problems) for an hour.

She said ‘Your industry is going to do this’ and then mimed an explosion. That’s a pretty safe bet for media, to be honest.

I had booked in to see this psychic because I was in an extremely tempestuous relationship and was looking for some good news. (I did not realise that it was going to be the start of a new hobby where I shopped around for psychics like one does for a hairdresser). Psychic #1 was a straight shooter in a way you wish your therapist was and immediately insisted that my relationship was heading for doom. She got more and more bolshy about it over the hour which, in hindsight, she was correct to do.

She predicted that we would break up in two months, that he would end up with someone with an accent and that I would end up with a man who owned a small dog and ‘spent a lot of time outdoors’. She also said that my industry was going to implode, and she did that by saying ‘Your industry is going to do this’ and then miming an explosion. I mean, that’s a pretty safe bet for media, to be honest.

#2 You’re Moving To Sydney

Just about one year later, I’m living with a new boyfriend, after my last relationship fell apart quickly the previous August (right on schedule, I would note). My new partner lives on a farm and has a small dog. So far, so good, right? What a prediction. However, our relationship is surrounded by so many red flags that I’m surprised the wind force didn’t pick me up and dump me three blocks over. I book in to see a new psychic (never a good sign in a relationship, particularly when you are NEWLY ENGAGED) and the day of the appointment, Farm Fiancé and I have an absolutely massive argument at 3am about my going to see a psychic.

Later on, I would realise that he was worried that the psychic was going to tell me that we were going to break up. That was giving this psychic FAR too much credit, because she actually said things were going to be fine! And we would be moving to Sydney months later! And I truly didn’t have anything to worry about!

One month later, our engagement is over. In a way, the psychic appointment really did move things along.

#3 You Will Make A Lot Of Money

On a free-falling roll now, post jilting, I book into see another psychic that is a friend of my mum’s friend and her first impression is BRILLIANT, in that she is Scottish, in her 70s and calls me ‘pet’. She also teaches me how to manifest using an anecdote about a jar of piccalilli as the main feature. She does a tarot reading for me that has a lot of good stuff in it about how I haven’t met my soulmate yet but he’s coming, that I’ll end up starting my own writing business and that I’ll make a lot of money. Hey, two out of three ain’t bad (check my bank account if you need a hint on which one hasn’t delivered).

#4 You Will Be A Best-Selling Author

My self-worth disappearing down a sinkhole, I book into see another psychic, again in West Auckland, the spiritual (and literal) home of psychics, I guess. The entire thing seems to be a front of another business, because she keeps dropping hints about her life coaching enterprise that she combines with doing facials (at the same time? It’s never clear.) About half an hour into this, I realise that this is an absolute shit show and start relaxing into the lunacy. Sadly, this psychic is the one who told me I would be a New York Times bestseller which is very upsetting when you consider how outlandish every statement out of her mouth was. 🙁

#5 Prioritise Travel While You Can

On a wellness retreat in Bali – yes, leaning in to Eat Pray Love so hard I fall over – with 10 other women, the resort tells us they are bringing in a traditional psychic. Obviously I have absolutely imagined a wise man like Ketut from, yes, Eat Pray Love, so it is a beautiful surprise to meet the actual psychic, an extremely handsome man in his early 20s wearing a neon blue backpack. At the open-air yoga studio where we meet, he tells me we have to move over to the left corner of the room in order to start the session.

“Is that because the energy is better over there?” I say, completely seriously, probably wearing a sarong at the time.

He blinks. “It’s where the electric mosquito-repellent is.”

Ah, of course. Initial embarrassment ASIDE, Handsome Psychic gets down to business and, using tarot cards, gives me a reading that – in hindsight, of course – will turn out to be spot on. He picks that I’m currently working on a new project and says it will buy me the flexibility I need for my future career, that I’m going to move flats ‘very soon’ and that I have ‘the wife material’ card. He tells me that the next year I will meet my person, but I have to ‘prioritise travel’ first, saying yes to all the trips possible. It’s the tail-end of 2018 and little do I know that in early 2019, I’ll be offered a last-minute work trip to Iran that will lead to me meeting my now-husband.

Absolutely all of this is what we who have seen three seasons of The Good Fight would call ‘circumstantial evidence’ but some of it stuck. There were decisions I made quickly because they matched what I had been told would happen. SHOCKINGLY this was not a fail-safe strategy and not all of those decisions worked out for the best. That’s probably less about the psychics and more an illustration of how immature I was at the time; I was basically in a drama-filled pinball machine, ricocheting off one bad decision to the next.

But when you’re in the depths of despair and are looking for any kind of sign that things will get better, having someone lay out your future for you is weirdly helpful, even if it’s just to prove that you’re going to have one. When things felt like they were closing in a bit, I got a strange level of comfort from re-reading out the notes that someone had prescribed for my next few years (even if some of those notes were… truly left field).

Sometimes you get some peace, sometimes you get a great anecdote about someone telling you you’d write a book series about a character called ‘Woody The Woodpecker’*

If you’re wondering, nobody predicted Covid-19.

*I haven’t ruled it out.

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