I had always been intrigued by the concept of fate and, like many, read the odd horoscope now and again. Even though generic statements of “trust your instincts today” or “you seem to be feeling flirty” are hardly a revelation, it still has the power to put you in a good mood. And while I had friends who dabbled in psychic clairvoyance, I always steered clear of it, believing the unknown is called that for a reason. After all, what fun would each day be if you already knew what would happen?
So in October 2009, when I was approached by a professional psychic named Joanna, I had initial reservations. But willing to try anything once (YOLO!), I decided it was now or never.
Meeting her, I was a mixed bag of apprehensions. Did she have a crystal ball? Would she be wearing black velvet, a headscarf, and be adorned with bracelets? (OK, maybe I'd seen too many films.) More worryingly, what if she told me my husband was having an illicit affair, she couldn’t see past 2010, and to avoid flying? ("Final Destination" sprang to mind.)
But I was reassured to know that my clairvoyant was warm and very down-to-earth -- far from the scary, mystical character I had imagined.
“A lot of people say I don’t look like a psychic,” she said, already reading my mind.
We chatted animatedly about developing her psychic gift as a child. She trained as a relationship psychologist before deciding to combine the two skills for a 15-year career as a clairvoyant.
“I see it more as helping people and really enjoy what I do,” she said.
As we entered the airy, serene room where she meets her clients, I sat in anticipation as she got her trusted tools -- her tarot cards -- to assist with my reading. My strategy was in place. I was to be extremely mindful not to give away too much about myself, and that included non-verbal cues or obvious signs, so off came the wedding ring.
I shuffled the cards and as she spread them out before us, I took a deep breath as she told me about my past, present and future.
“You need a holiday,” she began.
Well, who doesn’t? I thought to myself.
“In fact, you will be going on holiday with your partner in December.” I certainly had no intention of going away for Christmas. “You’re also going to get engaged,” she informs me. Wrong again! Well, this isn’t going very well.
And just as I began to think that this may have been a wasted visit, Joanna gained full momentum and told me personal things about my life that only I could have known. I tried to mask my astonishment as she talked candidly about my relationship with my husband, detailed the profiles of family and extended family, not to mention the ongoing dramas. They were not sweeping statements, but specific and surprisingly accurate.
How was this possible? How could she have possibly known of a private matter discussed with my husband or picked up on mum’s gallstone issue? (“I sense an ongoing problem in the right side of your mum’s lower stomach…” ) Or even that my parents were happily married after many years but, “your partner, on the other hand, his parents are divorced...” Very freaky! And while I debated with myself the possible, logical explanations for her statements, I still ended back at zero.
Meanwhile, my future looked far more skeptical. As she turned a card, she suddenly stopped in her tracks. A big smile spread across her face, and her eyes lit up.
"There’s a baby on the way. Not now, but you’ll conceive in December.”
Me? Baby? Unlike many of my girlfriends, I had never been the maternal type. Don’t get me wrong -- I love their children but I'm always relieved to hand them back at the end of the day.
“And you’ll also be travelling abroad to visit relatives you haven’t seen for a long time next year,” she continued.
Sensing my obvious disbelief, she showed me the tarot card to explain what she saw. It had a man and woman sitting in a rowing boat with a small child in the middle; it represented a family traveling to distant lands.
While my inner self found it hilarious, she continued to tell me what else my future held. I’d still be with my husband in the future (thank the lord!) and would have two children, a boy and a girl, although she couldn’t tell me which one would arrive first. A teaching opportunity awaited, and I would also be leaving my current job as features editor for a magazine to freelance and work part-time.
Well, we certainly had no exotic holidays planned, and with a hectic career, there was no room for a baby in between the constant deadlines, press trips and launch parties. I was not ready to give up my job just yet, nor my fun. But at least it all sounded positive and I didn’t have a freak accident awaiting me.
It was definitely an experience, and as I shared it with my husband and friends, who all laughed at the prospect of two children, I quickly put it to the back of my mind and carried on with my hectic yet wonderful life of freedom.
One year later, on a cold February evening, I was pacing up and down in the bathroom waiting for an important result. My period had been late before, but never a week overdue. To be honest, we were so busy with work and preparing for our spring break in the Philippines that a late period went unnoticed. I was expecting it to be negative, so when the line appeared in the square testing positive, I screamed in disbelief.
Although it was unexpected, my husband and I were delighted to be taking the next step in our lives. We arrived in the Philippines as planned, and I was just over 12 weeks pregnant (and fighting nausea!). Our holiday was made even more poignant as we could share the good news with family and friends.
In October 2010, our beautiful son, Corey, was born and I was reborn. I was overwhelmed with so much love, and the maternal instincts I’d never had before suddenly kicked in.
After a year of maternity leave, I had some troubles with my employer. Fed up of all the politics and embracing my new role as newbie mama, I made the daunting step of becoming a freelancer. However, with the prospect of not having a guaranteed income, I supplemented it with a part-time job, as well as teaching on an ad-hoc basis.
Sounds familiar? It really hadn’t occurred to me then, that the psychic had already predicted these events just a year earlier. At the time, I dismissed it as pure guesswork, had a good laugh, and put it to the back of my mind. Who would have known Joanna would be right? In fact, I’m still shocked at the accuracy of all of her predictions.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think there are a few con artists out there, but I’m also convinced that some are just born with a genuine, psychic gift. Or maybe we all have the ability to tune into our sixth sense if we really trained ourselves to?
Funnily enough, my husband and I have been speaking about having a second baby (our quota has always been two). And if Joanna’s predictions are anything to go by, I’m pretty certain we can guess what sex it will be.