Illustration by Lilli

As a child, I was taught to have an open mind when it came to the unknown. I was given books on UFOs, hauntings, mystical places, and other weird happenings. During the summer, you’d find me reading my family’s collection of Mysteries of the Unknown books for hours. One of my favorites in the series was one about psychic phenomena, which interested me in particular because of a dream I had where I was walking to the restroom at school, holding my wrist. A couple days after the dream, I fell off the playground bars at recess, and my watch cut my wrist. My dream came true! Over the ensuing years more and more little things like that happened, coming to a head when I was 18 and dreamed I saw my already deceased grandma waving to me with my best friend’s grandmother. When I woke up I knew his grandma was going to die. She ended up passing away two weeks later. I felt horribly guilty and freaked out, so I prayed not to have dreams like that ever again.

So I do believe there is some kind of weird psychic “connection” going on in the world, though I question exactly how it happens. Are some people naturally more intuitive than others, and accessing a part of their minds most of us can’t? Or are they receiving actual messages from “the other side”? Or maybe it’s a little bit of both. I have friends who are psychics and healers, and I dabbled in tarot a bit when I was younger. When I get time to read metaphysical books, they help me center and focus in a positive way. I also get my tarot cards read every once in a while. The first psychic I ever went to was during my high school’s senior trip to Puerto Vallarta. The things she said about my life were so scarily true, it made me cry. I’ve also had some readings that were ridiculously inaccurate. This past month I decided to visit five different psychics in L.A. and compare what they told me about my future.

Naha, tarot, House of Intuition

My first reading was at a metaphysical store in Echo Park where you can pick up candles and crystals while you get a reading. In preparation for my reading, I was led into a private space where I was supposed to focus on my intent. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, thinking about what kind of information I wanted the cards to reveal. I focused on two fairly common subjects: love and career.

The tarot reader was a woman named Naha who had short, bleached-blonde and lavender hair and sleeve tats. She was sweet and cheerful and reminded me of Weetzie Bat. I felt comfortable right away.

Love: Naha didn’t really give me specifics, but she asked if there was someone that I had been involved with back and forth, three times. I said that might apply to a couple of people in my past, but I don’t talk to them anymore. Naha was happy that I don’t. She said I had been attracting people at lower vibrations than mine, but now I will attract people at higher vibrations, since I am now vibrating at a higher level. She said a Scorpio dude would be good for me. (Justin Timberlake is a Capricorn, unfortunately.)

Career: Naha asked me if there were two women that I work with a lot. “One of them has a really far reach to the world,” she said, tapping on the card representing the Queen of Swords. Tavi, datchu? She then said that I have this kind of power too, and the time to own that has come.

General vibes: All of my cards kept coming up in threes, including many swords and wands, which are “action cards.” Naha said that people usually come into readings lost and stuck, but I was already ahead of all that. She felt a lot of good things happening for me, starting in the summer and opening up more in the fall. Much of her reading was advice oriented—and she told me to visualize how I would FEEL instead of a specific thing I want to have happen. It was a very positive reading,and I left feeling excited about all the magical things to come.

Zana, psychic medium

When I booked this reading, I thought I’d be visiting with Zana in person, but I found out she operates only over the phone. I immediately thought this was going to be some Miss Cleo-type shit. Bring it on!

Love: The first thing Zana told me was that the name Tom had come up; she asked if I had an ex with that name. I said no, and that I had no idea who that could refer to. Then she said it might be someone I will meet in the future, but that she saw him being very close to me now—she kept asking if I was sure that I didn’t know someone named Tom. She said my future mang is going to be older, in his late 30s or early 40s, and is a Capricorn (like Justin!) or a Scorpio. He is really fit, she told me, into biking or running, and she saw me at some kind of event like a marathon or 5K (THAT is already weird). Tom has been divorced for three years, has no kids, and is conservative—more business minded than creative. Then Zana said, “Oh, and he has a dog!” The spirits must have told her that I don’t like cat dudes. She added that there was a man from my past who is in a relationship now but is very confused and filled with turmoil. He thinks of me often and looks forward to talking to me because I ground him and make him feel better. UGH. Whoever that is, please don’t call me, thanks. I ain’t nobody’s ego boost.

Career: Zana told me that what I’m doing right now is really good and will open the door to many other things and that I am being “SEEN.” She said that she sees me writing for a sitcom. COOL! But I wonder if she said this only because I was cracking jokes the whole time.

General vibes and observations: Zana asked me a LOT of questions,which automatically makes me do the side-eye. She told me that I am surrounded by brightness, which means good things are coming my way. I am very intuitive, apparently, and must listen to my intuition. If I don’t feel like going somewhere but there’s a nagging feeling that I should go, then I must! That’s where someone I am meant to meet will be. Zana saw me in the lobby of a big house or a hotel with a lot of natural wood saying, “Yes, this is it!” She also saw me in a plastic surgery or cosmetics office! OMG I better not be getting work done…

Ivory Lee, tarot reader and astrologer

I must have eaten something bad before meeting with Ivory, because my stomach was all kinds of fucked up when I got to her. I was rushing over to meet her and afraid that this reading was going to be all bad diarrhea vibes. But I immediately felt at ease with Ivory, who was warm and welcoming and GORGEOUS.

Love: Ivory was really accurate about my ex-boyfriends. She knew the timelines when I dated them and a lot of weird details. “There was that one at 25…what was up with that one? Were you lonely or something? He wasn’t your type at all. EL ROACHO…” She must have meant the guy whom my friends and I refer to as “Pigpen.” She told me that I would soon meet two guys: One was a Latino GOTH (!) who was probably “too sad for me.” The other was going to be a very tall, muscular white guy who was fun and playful with me. She liked the second guy better for me.

Career: Like Naha had, Ivory asked if there were two women I frequently work with in writing. “There’s one that is older, you’ll learn a lot from her…I like her a lot.” (Anaheed, datchu?) She also said that a lot of things are going to start happening for me in the summer, and coming to a head in the fall.

General vibes and observations: This was the most accurate reading I have ever had. Unlike with Zana’s reading, where I was asked question after question, Ivory just TOLD me things, and these things were so personal and true that my eyes were watering the whole time. I had trouble keeping my mastered “psychic poker face” on. It was seriously unbelievable. I noticed that a lot of the same cards from the first reading appeared in this one as well, whatever that means. Ivory gave me amazing advice that makes me wonder if I should quit therapy and just see her every week. She teaches an astrology class every Sunday called ASSTROLOGY and has started doing horoscopes for Opening Ceremony.

Vikramadithya Ikshvivek, clairaudient medium

A couple of years ago, a friend told me she got a really accurate reading done by a guy who was buds with a mutual friend of ours. I ended up arranging to meet with him. The reading resulted in a memorable prophecy: I was going to get a writing gig near April of the next year…that ended up being the time when Tavi contacted me to write for Rookie. Clearly I wanted to go back to him.

Iksh is a different kind of medium. He is an avishkari, which means “spirit-possessor” or “manifester” in Sanskrit. What he does is stop breathing and become possessed by a ghost called the Germanic Madame. It’s pretty wild, and the most unique kind of reading I have had so far. Iksh is currently writing a memoir.

Love: The Germanic Madame is persistent that I heed one particular warning: I must not to get involved with an older man. I wave goodbye to Tom, my divorcé cyclist boyfriend from Zana’s reading. The Germanic Madame points out that I am still quite young and exclaims, “The fruit is ripe inside, it is not time to make raisin!” This becomes my official life motto. There is also talk in this reading of having two serious options for new menz. No specific talk regarding Latino goths or hunky jocks, but there is one that “tells dirty jokes and wears glasses.” Oooh girl, if that’s the case, I am definitely going to be in trouble…

Career: The GM is very specific about things when it comes to writing. She said that I will be writing the captions for pictures for some sort of anthology. I wonder to myself if she’s picking up on some captions I wrote that morning. She says I am going to be visiting people and reviewing them. Um, is she talking about what I’m doing right at this very moment? I’m going to be involved in a project that has to do with TV where I am working with a man as his counterpart, and providing the feminine perspective on something. INTEWESTING…

General vibes and observations: Iksh’s voice changes and becomes a couple of octaves higher when he is possessed by the Germanic Madame. The first thing she says before I ask anything is that I will be changing residences in October.

Madame Pamita, tarot

I have known about Madame Pamita for a long time, and decided to pay her a visit at her new space in Santa Monica. Pamita, who looks more like your rad aunt than Madame Serena from Teen Witch, greeted me warmly and led me to a room behind a curtain.

Love: Because I am an air sign (Libra), I have a tendency to overthink things. I need to release that, said Pamita. There was no specific talk about men I’ll meet, just that “an amazing and blessed relationship full of love and great happiness” is coming into my life.

Career: She told me that I should focus on writing fiction, and that I need to spend more time writing privately. She said I will have great success as a writer and a beautiful and harmonious work life is ahead. I LIKE THE SOUND OF DAT.

General vibes and observations: Once again, the same cards came up as in my other two tarot readings! EERIE. Madame Pamita told me to make lists of what I am thankful for and what I want to happen, but write it as though it is happening now. I feel happy that all of these readings basically agreed on one important thing: I’m a badass bitch with a lot of good things coming my way. After my reading, I tell the universe that I’m ready for her and pick up a candle and some “attraction oil” on my way out. A little bit of extra assistance won’t hurt, right? ♦