The sign set up in the atrium read: “FREE Psychic Readings.”
With jade eyes and weathered hands, she sat across from students one-at-a-time, shuffling a stack of tarot cards. “Select three, hon,” she said, in a raspy voice.
Curious students waited in a cluttered line on Jan. 14, when Psychic Michele set up fortune readings in the Student Commons building for the afternoon. The usual buzz was boosted by students gathering from all backgrounds and beliefs.
Psychic Michele worked her magic by providing guidance for each student, predicting their hopes, fears and future.
“I feel people’s energy […] like a mother’s intuition,” she said, pressing her palm against the table. “I haven’t known life any different. Some people will think it’s against their religion, and they have every right to think that. But I feel my gift is from God.”
Several students – whether Atheist, Christian, Pagan, or Agnostic – reported feeling eager and open-minded about “seeing” their forecast.
“I’m just interested to see how my fortune turns out,” said Natasha Patton, a Travel and Tourism student, with a wide smile. “I wasn’t raised religiously, [but] I’ve always believed in the supernatural.”
Edythe Hooper, a peer tutor with multiple degrees, chatted with other students while waiting for a reading herself. Hooper has a theological background and believes that every psychic is different – but, “all spirituality is based on energy.”
Mario Lalonde, 19, a student in the heating, refrigeration and air conditioning technician program, doesn’t identify with a religion, but has nevertheless always been curious about psychic abilities.
“I respect everyone’s beliefs,” he said. “I have a skeptic mind, but I’ve always been interested in what [psychics] are all about.”
Bill Kitchen, the Student Association’s event programmer, said that this type of event is meant to be interactive for students and brings out all kinds of people.
Psychic Michele has been practicing Mediumship – channeling the connections between humans and spirits – for over 42 years. She says most of her clients come from different religious, spiritual and scientific beliefs.
“It’s not like the movies,” said Psychic Michele. “I am not a shock-value psychic.”