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It seems that every year brings more advertisements for telephone psychics. I've generally assumed that this popular phenomenon had no relationship to Thelema at all. But then I discovered that at least one local Thelemite has worked in the phone psychic business for many years, and embraces the work as part of her magical practice. <Phaedra> (to use her psychic name) has been a member of AMORC, BOTA, and the Martinist Order, in addition to several Thelemic organizations. She began our interview with a declaration of her magical orientation: “The spiritual light is what is in my heart, and the love of my Holy Guardian Angel guides me.”
And by the way, she prefers the term “intuitive counselor.”
Q. How did you get into the psychic business?
A. I had decided not to go on to graduate school. I had moved into this wonderfully grand house that was totally beautiful: four bedrooms, and three bathrooms, and all, but I couldn't actually find work, even with a degree. So, as I wanted so much to be a counselor and hadn't really finished my studies, I responded to an ad for an intuitive counselor. And the first person I spoke to didn't sound really like she was “with it,” but I found another that I did respond to. I wanted to meet the lady that was running this network. When I met her, she was so warm and wonderful and loving; I knew that someone full of that much light wouldn't be doing something shady.
Q. How did it seem to you at first?
A. At first it was kind of scary. I knew I wanted to do it, and I knew it could be helpful to people. And it was very draining! My first call, I set up the phone, and I was right there. I did a twenty minute reading, then I logged off the network right away, and I felt like I just had to lay down. It took a lot of energy out of me.
This is one of the problems with being on the psychic line, where you may make more money and work right out of your home, but you give so much energy. You're giving healing to people over this wire, you know? But it kind of taps your energy until you can learn how to harness it. So that was one of my problems, building up to being able to stick in there longer.
Later, when I had formed my own group (I hired them under me and worked the line also), I helped guide them, kind of like the mother hen. So I wrote a manual, too, in which I took people through how to do this properly. Because there was no guiding! They'd just sit you down, say “log on,” and you're done. There is no real training.
Q. So what is it that you do?
A. Actually, I use the Crowley deck – tarot cards – and when I take a call from the network, then I just focus in. It's really focusing in on that person. You can read their aura over the telephone. So I read their aura. Sometimes I can pick up on spirits around a person, or on their past lives.
You're really focusing on their voice, so I use a headset always. It's closer to the ears so you can hear. You've got to hear their breathing. You've got to hear what's going on, like if they're scared, or they're hurt. This is like another sense; another part of the senses kicks in, and you read the person before you even drop a card down. And then the cards are there as a tool. They aren't the whole thing. Any divination tool that you use is a tool, period. But it does show you things where you can elaborate.
Someone will say, “Am I going to win the lottery?” You get a lot of calls like that. And I'll say to myself, what they really want is money. They're desperate. They're calling the psychic line, and they really need a counselor. So there I come in. And I would focus on what's going on in their lives, and are they working? Or I would go into, what are their dreams? Now, they're asking about the lottery, mind you; the quick fix. And I say, if you want the lottery, what are you going to do with that? You'll spend the money, and then you'll be out, or whatever. And I focus them on the spiritual light inside them, but in a way like, what kind of work they like to do; a “follow your dreams” kind of thing. And it could be that they didn't get their answer about the lottery, maybe [laughs]. But they were kinda put on a correct path. So as you can see, I find this a healing art, not just a quick, get rich, “I'm gonna mess around with people on the phone” thing.
Q. Do you ever find yourself drawing a blank?
A. In what manner would you mean?
Q. I guess what I mean is, do you ever have to fake it?
A. No, not really. Because, if a person goes on the psychic line and they don't ask you a particular question or something like that, then I go to the cards and I really pick up on their breathing. Seriously, it's like, okay, they're not giving me anything, hmm, what's going on? And you do get their birth sign – there's a lot of astrology in this too, you know, finding out where they are in their chart, things like that. Or things with the moon. All this intuition thing, it just comes to you. I'll pick up when they don't talk. I might say, you're having pain in, maybe, your solar plexus, and they say yes. Now, I don't know how I do that. I just do it, you know? And then we go into a healing thing. And then: why? Maybe they're succumbing to something in their life that they can change.
Q. You obviously are very sincere. Are all the phone psychics in your experience as sincere as you are?
A. No. Emphatically. I know this as a fact, because I had to go into the office for this lady that runs this psychic line, and I had to come into work and counsel some of the other psychics. And I did take calls from that office, and we had to find this culprit, who had done dirty deeds like putting people on hold and their phone bill running up to like $200, or not giving clients anything at all.
Q. Do you feel that the people at the top levels of the business are sincere?
A. Well, this guy that owns [one psychic phone service], for him, it's obviously just a business. However, some of the psychics out there, like me, find this a very good opportunity to use their skills. So I can't control the person who's getting rich on our little nickel-and-dimes per minute, but I look at it as: this is a way to help people.
Q. Do you feel that the psychics are well-treated in this business?
A. No. They keep increasing the requirements. You've got to log on, on the first of the month, on the fifteenth of the month, you've got to do that or you lose five cents a minute. I mean, you've got to keep going, and as he finds business dropping, then he'll increase the amount of people.
Q. Do you feel that the clients are sincere?
A. No [laughs]. Not all of them. Some of them are almost there to, like, “I'm gonna shoot you down, you phony!” The thing is, you're toe-to-toe. You're sitting on the line, and you're being sincere. And these people are like, we've got a battle going.
But I have found a way [giggles] to break them down. Because usually, they really do have a problem. And you can die of all that anger. I had a lady who for twenty minutes was saying, what a phony, you're all charlatans, you're all doing this and you're all doing that. And I happened to say, “You have so much anger in you, I can see it in your heart.” She was in tears! And here we are, it was like two in the morning, we were on for a whole hour. And she was saying, “Let me pour you some tea, I wish I could . . .” because I broke through. She needed someone to vent to; she picked the psychic line.
What appears isn't always the way it really is. You have to be able to read into the soul. All of a sudden, she was thanking me. I helped her pick her life back up. She went through a lot of abusive things. I actually had her going out and doing fun things.
So with what I've experienced, I say, how could it be a bad thing? There's a lot of pain out there, and I want to do whatever I can do to help.
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Wow, Phaedra is very, very lucky. I have done this but did not have nearly such a positive experience. The organization I worked for was not so caring… I ended up leaving them when they insisted that we promise clients winning lotto numbers, and stopped taking our individual talents into account when directing calls. If it had been like that I'd probably still be doing it.
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
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