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[whitespace] How to Know It All Ahead of Time

Psychics, fortunetellers and first ladies

By Kelly Luker

IMAGINE MOM AND DAD'S joy after blowing 20 grand or so on tuition and board for higher education, only to learn that Little Junior has turned to a $50 palm reader to determine which career path to choose: nuclear physicist or professional didgeridoo player? It's enough to shove parents over the edge. Or the kid out of the will.

Go ahead and laugh. Psychics--along with therapists and self-help groups--constitute just one more in the array of "me, too" investments for the hip and happening Californian's emotional investment portfolio. For every pointy-headed pragmatist who loves to sneer and jeer at the crystal gazers and clairvoyants, there are two more clandestinely booking a date with destiny.

Think not? Check out who has more ads in the Yellow Pages--psychic consultants or career consultants? Those who profess to know the future may be the butt of jokes--until one's own future looks dark and gloomy. That explains why two first ladies (Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton) have copped to a little clairvoyant consultation when the presidential path turned rocky.

Of course, first ladies can get James Van Praagh on the horn at the drop of a pillbox hat. Regular types have the choice of the has-been celebrity psychic hot lines, like LaToya Jackson's Psychic Network or Brigitte Nielsen's Witches of Salem Network Sample Readings. Given that both LaToya and Brigitte are walking proof of life after death, perhaps it would be wiser to listen up on how to find a good local psychic.

"I can tell you how not to find a psychic," warns Puck, who works at the downtown Santa Cruz occult shop Thirteen. "Avoid anyone who tells you you're under a curse and they can only lift it for money."

Puck--just Puck--explains he was raised in a coven and is a master of the "secret sciences."

If Santa Cruzans seem bent toward the, um, bent, it's no mistake. Puck explains that this chunk of real estate sits on top of an "energy sink": a locus of woo-woo vibes that has elsewhere in the world attracted the Pyramids, Stonehenge and Las Vegas. (All right, not Las Vegas, but you try to explain Wayne Newton.)

"Avoid the neon-sign type of places," Puck continues. "The more sensationalist, the more likely they are to be a fraud." And, he adds, avoid seances and Ouija boards.

"It's not a good idea to ask anything lurking nearby to enter your body."

While Puck cottons to the coven end of the religious spectrum, psychic Susie Stevens Moore calls herself a "practicing Catholic with a gift." Moore says that one sure sign of a good psychic is if they're booked up. For example, don't plan on getting in to see Moore any evening before 2001. She also believes a legitimate psychic will be able to give specific dates, times and events that she or he sees on the horizon.

"With each person that sets up an appointment, I spend 15 minutes explaining about my style and how I read," Moore explains. She won't sugarcoat the truth, and unlike 90 percent of her counterparts, Moore won't tell her clients what they should do. "I'm not a codependent psychic," Moore sniffs.

If all else fails, ask a friend for a good recommendation. And remember--those who swear they never go to psychics are probably the same ones who say they only watch public television. Yeah, right.

Kelly predicted the fall of communism and the rise of Ricky Martin.

911 Cedar St., SC (425.1313)

Susie Stevens

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From the September 22-29, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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