Sunday, September 12, 2010

My trip to the psychic fair

Yesterday two good friends and I, in the name of doing something fun and different and relatively cheap, decided to check out a psychic fair.

In matters that one might call 'supernatural', I'm kind of what you might call a hopeful skeptic. I have an interest in things like clairvoyancy, mediumship, telemetry and whathaveyou, but still not sure I really believe in a lot of it. I've seen and experienced things that lead me to believe that there is a lot more out there than modern science has found explanations for. However, there are other things that people claim to be supernatural can really be chalked up to psychology, and unfortunately in some circumstances, good old hucksterism.

I think there are planes of existence and dimensions that science is not yet capable of exploring and explaining but may be able to, one day. Just look at the atom. I'm sure that once upon a time, the idea that all matter was made of tiny little particles that you can't see probably seemed like a whole lot of bunk, until we were able to create the technology to prove such things.

Anyway, the fair had about a dozen or so booths, a number of people doing readings and such. The aromatherapy/reiki booth was interesting and the two girls (twin sisters I believe) who worked the booth were fun and interesting. My friends both had some kind of foot therapy thing done, which they said was very relaxing. This is one of the areas I have an easier time buying, as I think a lot of it is psychological. Who has not been triggered by a scent at some point or another? At the same time though, it all may come down to a form of meditation, and forcing yourself to RELAX. I think a lot of the reason reiki and aromatherapy and the like seem to work is because you have someone there to guide you in your state of relaxation because in this day and age, it really is something that a lot of people are incapable of doing on their own.

A lot of the booths had people doing readings of all types, and since I was broke I kind of bypassed them. An amusing Scottish man did a quick (and I mean that literally, the guy spoke SO fast) numerology thing for each of us. Horoscopes and numerology rank pretty low on the credit scale for me because:

A) if people want to believe in something bad enough, they will see evidence that supports their belief and ignore that which conflicts.. this is confirmation bias.

B) I never seem to fit the descriptions of my 'signs', or I'll only half-fit them. The exception to this is my chinese horoscope. Last Christmas my co-workers and I all went out for breakfast at a local Chinese place and there was a fair amount of laughter all around when I read that 'Monkeys generally have a low opinion of others'. What, me? Really? nooooooo.

And again, with the numerology guy, some stuff fit me (jack of all trades, master of none.. yup. I also liked 'You do good things well, but you do bad things just as well when it comes to the drink and sex' - haha, nice.) but a lot of it I just kind of shook my head and said no, that doesn't sound like me.

There were also some booths selling some very nice artwork and handmade jewellery and such.. these had more appeal to me than trying to find my spirit guide or my guardian angel. Spirits and angels and communication with the deceased are more things that I have a hard time giving credibility to, especially as recently I've been privately grappling with a lot of my own beliefs/ideas regarding what happens after we die. But again, there are things I have seen with my own eyes that won't allow me to write off the idea entirely - Mom, you know what I'm talking about.

One of the readers was in Barrie for the first time so they were offering a 'One question' reading for free (usually for $15). I don't see the point in turning down anything that's free, if my effort is minimal, so I signed up and when my turn came I went into talk to Mother May, a matronly Jamaican woman and apparently third-generation psychic.

This was my second time ever speaking to a paid psychic (I have a couple of friends who 'see' whom I have spoken with). My first paid experience was for lack of any other better word, terrible. I came out of the reading very upset with some of the predictions she had made. The fortunate part was that her visions concerning my personality and my family life and whatnot were way off (she claimed I had unresolved issues with my father and that I didn't get a long with my sister etc etc.. yeah, FAIL.) so the predictions she had made were pretty much inaccurate too.

The only nice or good thing she had told me was that I should take up painting, so in an effort to take something positive out of the experience, I gave it a try, and well, I enjoy it. So that's something.

The woman I saw previously gave me a very negative vibe as soon as I had walked in. Mother May on the other hand gave off a very soothing kind of air. I asked my question (I'm going to keep it to myself, as it's personal) and she gave me an answer I had already kind of figured for myself. Although the confirmation was comforting, the skeptic in me couldn't help but think "but isn't that what anyone who asked such a question would 'want' to hear?" I felt my own confirmation bias kick in, as most of the things she said applied pretty closely to my situation, except for one.. but you find yourself going "but by *this* she could mean *this*" to which point even the stuff that doesn't make sense, makes sense.

All in all, it was a fun way to kill an afternoon, and it got me thinking about a lot of unexplained phenomena that still exists in the world, things that we still have so much to learn about like dreams, and deja vu and why some people seem more attuned to the energy around them. Why, when I walk into an old old house, do I feel a warmth or well-being that I don't get walking into a pre-fab model home? Is it the ability of inanimate objects to absorb the energy of people they once belonged to?

Being skeptical doesn't necessarily mean that seeing has to be believing, but it does mean questioning what our senses tell us.

well, that's all for today. I'll be mulling these questions and more while I do laundry. Oh Sunday.

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