GTA Tripping: Ooh, a Psychic!
Primary concerns when visiting a psychic for the first time:
- Is this a lot of hooey?
- Am I going to be able to keep a straight face? But if it is not hooey but in fact the woman is a mysteriously visionful sage channeling otherworldly energies and interpreting signals from the cosmos.
- Is she going to tell me I'm going to die? Or worse, that I'm a jerk?
Hooey or not, Giovanna's record is impressive. She's been in business at her Yonge Street location for thirteen years. She's had many regulars who have been coming to her for over a decade, ever hungry for her brand of cosmos-channeling, folk therapy or whatever they believe it to be.
When I first contacted Giovanna on the phone, and mentioned that I'd like to experience her talents for an article, she asked about it and said, "Oh, I know your work."
I was flattered, could it be that I was somehow famous enough that this woman, who exists well beyond my Facebook network, actually knows of me? I told my friend sitting next to me at Linux Caffe about it, and he laughed heartily, reminding me that this was a psychic - it is her craft to say things like that.
And so, with my 15 seconds of delusional fame behind me, I ascended the stairs to Giovanna's studio to find out what other manner of wool she could throw over my eyes.
The studio is in Dundas Square, taking all the cheesy glitz and flare of the area into its realm. Various spiritually questionable candles, stones, crystals and books lined the walls of the shop area. Giovanna sells a lot of this stuff to home-voyants. But we hadn't come to shop.
Striking and dressed all in black, Giovanna herself was a magnetic raven. I was immediately and undeniably drawn to her, ready to lap up any and everything she'd have to say.
She showed me to her "reading room." Before we began she stated plainly that she isn't in the business of sugarcoating anything. If there are tragedies or injustices around me, or if I am leading my life down a reckless and harmful path, she was going to spell it out for me in plain English, in all its nasty, naked truth. Was I going to be OK with that? Gulp
I agreed - I had an article to write - and so we got down to business.
Through tarot cards, palmistry and the use of a giant antique crystal ball she had inherited from her similarly gifted grandmother, Giovanna gave me a portrait of my current life, and offered several explicit predictions for my future.
First, she asked me to think of a question or a wish. I took a minute, and then told her that I wished a current business venture would prove fruitful.
As I scribbled her insights into my note pad, she told me that I am the type of guy who has his hands in many pies. In my future, I would be involved in business, but that I also have a creative side. "C-r-e-a-t-i-v-e s-i-d-e," I scrawled. No news so far.
But then: My digestive system is out of whack, I am a "good person", a perfectionist and highly intuitive to the point of possibly having a cultivatable gift. I should listen to my instincts more.
I was rapt with this analysis, but then again, who doesn't like hearing about themselves?
More: My mother may have high blood pressure, and she's at risk from burning out from working. My eldest sister is having trouble in love. I will have my own business when I'm 45, become involved in real estate in my late 30s, live in Europe for half a decade beginning in 2011 or 2012, and in ten months I will meet a new soul mate with dark hair, light eyes and whose name begins with an M or an N.
Now we're getting somewhere.
Unfortunately, as she was telling me all of this, I couldn't shut down my loud, critical mind. Of course I'll meet someone with dark hair and light eyes, my stubborn inner voice cried out, because that describes me and we always date people we look like. My mom's workoholism? She could plainly see that I am a busy guy and I must have gotten it from somewhere. Business? I had mentioned explicitly that I'm currently involved in business. "We'll see," I kept saying to myself, as she listed specific descriptions.
But picking up on these things is a skill in itself. For people who stumble in from the rain, lost and afraid, after seeing the neon beacon reading "psychic" through the mist of their confused minds, like Pee-Wee Herman looking for his bicycle in his Big Adventure, this sort of sit-down jam session could probably prove quite valuable, the cosmos be damned.
And another "but" - It really doesn't matter if Giovanna is truly in touch with the cosmos. This day and age, the learned person might recognize that there probably is something else out there, and that it doesn't matter what models we use to contact that world. Giovanna could very well be a bona fide seer, the point is that it doesn't matter - it's a valuable experience either way.
And I did indeed have one "holy shit!" moment. While my hand and Giovanna's were placed on the crystal ball I could feel a distinct, rapid pulsating under the skin of my outstretched fingers. "That's my energy you're feeling," she said. "You have a bit of a gift so you can feel it." She then removed her hand and the pulsating stopped.
Photos by Petia Karrin