Friday, May 21, 2010

My First Palm Reader

I went to my first psychic palm reader on my very first road trip to Burlington, Vermont. I was 17 and spent a lot of time desperately seeking answers about myself from other people. The glowing neon sign in the window on Church Street urged me to spend my dwindling savings on a 20 minute reading. I walked up a tiny stairway to find Madame Winter's little lounge on the second floor. I sat in a magenta-velvet chair while she held my right hand. She opened my palm and in a scratchy, feminine voice read some vague things: I would marry a man later on in life, I am very creative, and sometimes my emotions get in the way of my progress. Being a budding feminist, at the precipice of learning my sexuality, I was disappointed by my fate and there began my skepticism of psychic readings.. and heterosexist readers.

Later I realized I'd rather seek answers within myself. Our full potential is within us from the start. There are of course signs and guides that can help teach us along the way, for example: a person or animal that comes into our lives for a reason, a strange experience or encounter, a series of events, a strong feeling, or a kitschy palm reader...

One of my favorites is the tarot deck: a guide and tool for divination to sort out the events in our lives. The deck can urge us to acknowledge our past, present, future, hopes and fears. The first makers of the Tarot deck painted secret symbols in the cards, and every card holds a character and a story. The shuffle and the placement of the cards tells a bigger story. And stories, like songs, give themselves up for our interpretation.