When I was growing up, my mum was fascinated by spiritualism. She’d been told my dad, a man called Philip, would be the love of her life before she’d even met him.
When my mum finally bumped into him she was ‘prompted’ by spirits, and had a gut feeling he was The One. That was all the confirmation she needed and they stayed together happily for the rest of their lives. That’s why she would attend a spiritualist church, hoping for more guidance from the ‘other side’.
At 15 I caved in and went with her. I was fascinated that people who had died could communicate with us via mediums. A year later I went to see a clairvoyant for the first time and my life-long fascination with psychics was ignited.
She told me I’d marry someone with the initials JH. When I told my mum, even she didn’t believe in such a precise prediction – but then I met a man called John Harris.
I was 20 and he was my first serious boyfriend. However, what I hadn’t revealed to my mum was the psychic predicted our marriage wouldn’t last. It didn’t and we split up five years later.
Over the past 40 years I’ve continued to regularly seek spiritual guidance. Being able to ‘tune in’ to the other side doesn’t come cheap. I’ve spent about £30,000 on my habit.
That’s £700 a year over 40 years. I’ve explored my future with everything from tarot cards to tea leaves to crystal balls.
I also get ‘visits’ from my close family members who have passed away. For example, since my mother died in 1997 she visits regularly. I actually saw her once when she told me to sell my first house in France. But that was unusual. Typically I just hear her, or sense her. She’ll move things in the room – my grandmother does the same.
The psychics even helped with my career. I worked in sales and they’d tell me how to sell to a particular client and who to avoid. On the strength of their guidance, I enjoyed a fantastic lifestyle. I owned a four-bedroom home, a BMW, boat, caravan and we holidayed abroad several times a year.
I even came to rely on psychics when my second husband, who I met when I was 28, became seriously ill.
In 1995, when I was 38, a medium advised me to be strong as she could ‘see’ tough times ahead. She predicted my husband would undergo a triple bypass and that it would go wrong, but he would not die. My dad, who had by now died, ‘visited’ and told me the same.
Even though he was coming around to the idea of being able to contact people on the other side, my husband dismissed the morbid prophecy – it was a routine procedure.
Even so, I couldn’t stop myself from warning his medical team. They probably dismissed me as a fruitcake. But when he was still in hospital months later after picking up a super bug and nearly dying, I wasn’t shocked. The ‘advice’ I’d received was correct.
When I had a back problem last year, I didn’t just see my GP, I asked my medium what could help, too. Doctors had warned I wouldn’t be able to run again, but she said I would, with ‘help’ and suggested I see a crystal healer.
When I held the crystal in my hand, it became very hot. I was told it was the negative energy being drawn out of my back. I’m now running four times a week.
It was also foretold we would move abroad in 2002. When I was 19 my grandmother came through to predict I would live in France. It was another medium, in Torquay, who pinpointed the exact year. Both women described the house accurately.
By now my husband knew better than to challenge the advice and went along with it when I decided we should move there purely because of the psychic. I worried whether I’d find someone to read tarot cards for me, but she appeared within days. I met her by chance through a friend.
I’d already been told we’d have a large house. The front door would have room for a potted tree each side and there’d be a well in the garden. When the internet search came up, there it was, exactly as described. We only saw that property and signed on the dotted line.
It was impractical and it wasn’t near work, but the psychic had told me to buy it, so I did. We sold it not long after we moved to France. Some might see that as a failing on the psychic’s part, but I saw it as a stepping stone to getting us to where we were supposed to live.
Since moving I’ve lived in three different properties and I’ve followed the suggestions of my psychics when it comes to decorating them. My current bungalow is, on the advice of a local tarot card reader, painted in hues of coffee and cream to promote peace in the home.
My second husband left me in 2008. I wasn’t shocked. Psychics had always told me there would be three men in my life. I’d never told him, but I’d been advised I would meet the third man, the man of my dreams, in France.
Yet every person with the ‘gift’ predicted we’d never marry. I’d actually met him in 2005, although nothing happened between us until after my husband had left. Since then we have had a very unsatisfying on-off affair. I’ve had to accept that, as the cards foretold, while he’s fond of me, he’ll never love me.
Last November a new prediction popped up. Someone ‘saw’ I would travel for work. I’m now looking into employment opportunities in China. While I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of looking elsewhere for work if a psychic hadn’t mentioned it, I’m free, I can go anywhere and China appeals.
In my more vulnerable moments I do wonder whether handing out hundreds of pounds a year to be repeatedly told I’ll never marry again is such a wise thing.
And my sceptical friends despair that I’ve taken my faith in psychic advice to this extent, but I really do believe there are forces stronger than we are in this world.
The UK psychic industry is worth about £100 million a year. Polls suggest that more than half of the population believes in psychic powers and research on 300 different psychics showed business is up an average of 40% since the recession began. London’s College of Psychic Studies offers 50 different courses in psychic development.
A medium provides evidence of survival of the human soul after death, communicating with people whose souls have left their human body through mind-to-mind contact.
According to believers, a clairvoyant (the name comes from the French clair meaning ‘clear’ and voyance meaning ‘vision’) is someone who has their ‘third eye’ open. This ‘eye’ is located in between our two physical eyes and is believed to be the seat of spiritual powers.
Renowned psychic medium Emma Kinsey says: "When visiting a psychic medium they will connect you with the spirit world and bring through anyone wanting to connect with you. They should be able to tell you facts about the person coming through, including their name, how they passed and who they are with.
"You should be given guidance on what is going on now in your life and what is to come. I suggest you leave it six months between readings. Readings are there to give you guidance – the ultimate decisions you have to make about your life are yours."
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