What is in the cards?


By Hilary Groutage Smith
August 4, 2002
Salt Lake Tribune

My Psychics (spiritual healers) brush aside stereotypes. Forget long robes and crystal balls and it’s probably best not to call them psychics. Today’s intuitive healers, spiritual teachers, mystics and card readers look remarkably average. And for a small fee, they will help you negotiate life’s twists and turns, potholes and bumps.

It’s all about control,” said Marcello Truzzi a professor at Eastern Michigan University who studies and teaches courses about physics and crime, witchcraft and parapsychology. “It not necessarily irrational for people to consult them, some of this stuff actually works. Besides that, you want to know what the hell to invest in.”

Just ask Salt Lake City resident Joel LaSalle, who wanted to understand himself and his future better a few years ago. He decided to consult a psychic. “He told me things about myself that no one else knew. There was no way he could have made it up.” LaSalle said. “I was hooked.”

Now, LaSalle gets each of his four children a reading for their birthdays and before school starts in the fall.

” People think it’s fortune reading, but it’s really self-understanding making yourself more conscious and more aware of what’s coming up in your life.” He said.

No matter how they refer to themselves, mystics, readers, and intuitive healers generally share some characteristics: They saw angels, or spirits other people didn’t see from the time they were children and they felt like they had a gift that could help other people.

Some will answer specific questions, other’s will not. Most figure a way around blurting out details of death.

” I don’t think any psychic should predict that. Only God knows when someone is going to die and I’m not God.” Said Mr. George, a palm and tarot card reader at the golden Braid bookstore in Salt Lake City. “I call myself an intuitive reader with a spiritual gift.” He said. The gift started to manifest itself when he was young and sat in on his Romanian grandmother’s readings. He started to be able to simply sense what people are all about.

Clients get both palm and tarot cared readings in each 20- minute session. The cost is $30.00

” It’s exhausting. I’m tired at the end of the day.” He said. And he doesn’t remember anything about individual readings. “I can’t remember all those details.”

Salt Lake City’s Suzanne Wagner’s clients number around 8000. She calls herself a mystical healer and if there is a standard by which mystics could be judged, she might be it. A former ballerina with a penchant for Armani shoes. Wagner is sure of herself from the moment she ushers a client into her home office. A business license hangs on the wall. She charges $100.00 per hour for her services and spends one week per month in Los Angeles.

Yes, she has famous clients. No, she will not tell us who they are.

And when she is in Utah, she has learned not to speak first when she sees clients on the street.

” I learned very quickly a lot of people around here don’t want their friends and family to know they have a psychic,” she said. And yes, she said, “tons of her clients are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

” Inside my head I have a little old gypsy named Sarah,” she said. “And the hand is a road map to the person’s life.” If while reading a palm, she sees a tragedy ahead, she still tries to make the reading positive.

” The death of a child is the worst, but I will find some way to say it,” she said.

Wagner leaned a numerology method form a Pakistani Yogi. From a client’s date of birth, she can tell a whole lot about them: personality, strengths, weaknesses and the status of their health.

” A good reader can tell a lot about a person by just looking. If they are attractive, they will probably be romantically successful and married. If they are really ugly, chances are they will be alone,” Truzzi said.

Heather Macauley, long haired with a decidedly ivory girl clean look thought everyone saw angels like she did when she was a child. Good news and advice about following your heart is her specialty.

” There are times when you have no idea how things are going to work out, but trust the universe and they do.” She said.

Besides, she enjoys getting to know people and offering insight. “Who is going to sue their psychic?” she asked.

” She’s always positive. She never says anything bad.” Said Brenda Blair, a long time client of Macauley. “She’s helped me through a lot of tough things.”

In some cases, clients are paying to hear from a person who isn’t even there. When Janice Veregge offers advice she is not really doing the talking. Veregge said she channels information that will help people in their future though a man named Lar, whom she discovered during an intense meditation session in 1988.

” I just sit there and he does the talking,” she said.

When Lar enters her body, Veregge feels a sensation like hitting the bottom floor during an elevator ride. She ends the sessions with Lar floating away and has little or no memory of what was said.

If handing over the dough for a peek at the future isn’t in the cards, sit down and get quiet.

” To me, everybody is psychic,” Wagner said.

Truzzi agrees.

” People have different kinds of concerns, if you’re a good reader or just paying attention, you use common sense and look at the person and you can tell where they are in their lives,” he said.

If you are choosing a psychic or healer, use some common sense.

” Always go with your gut. If you say something and it doesn’t resonate, it’s not true.” Wagner said.


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