Psychic or Psycho?

I’m sure that when it comes to the title question, you’ve already decided about me. Last weekend I had my first ever experience with a psychic medium. If she was any good she’d be called a psychic large. Am I right? A winery near me has a psychic medium doing tarot card readings every Sunday afternoon this summer. For $25 you get a glass of wine and your reading. Below are my cards. Truth be told, if she really is psychic she’d know that the flower print table cloth is a terrible idea for people who want to take pictures of their cards.

I’ll tell you my mind set approaching this. I believe that psychic phenomena does exist, however, I am skeptical of those who claim to have psychic abilities. I take a “prove it to me” approach towards those individuals. I occasionally watch “reality” shows featuring psychics and much to Mrs. Phil’s frustration I will say things like, “Well, she’s just guessing!” or “You could interpret that any way you want.” Yes, Mrs. Phil refers to herself as Mrs. Phil and is proud to do so. Who wouldn’t be? Mrs. Phil also won’t watch certain shows with me anymore. I went into the reading determined not to give the psychic any information that would help lead her into general statements that I would then interpret through my point of view and believe she was psychic.

As soon as my psychic, Maren, dealt the cards I shouted “Blackjack!” Interestingly, just now as I typed “dealt” I accidentally added an “h” on the end of it, making it dealth which is only a letter away from death. Yes, I did get the death card. I didn’t panic because first of all, I’m Phil, and secondly, in writing a good novel your main character can be faced with three types of death: physical, romantic, or occupational. Think about novels you’ve read and you’ll see one or more of those themes in all of them. For me the psychic  surmised that the death card was related to a work situation. I didn’t lose my job, but recently found out that I wouldn’t be getting a highly coveted promotion I had been pursuing for a long time.  That’s one in favor of the psychic.


To start the reading, I was asked to choose an identity card. She explained the traits of each and I was instructed  to choose the one that I felt reflected my personality the best. I wanted to choose the Knight of Swords but was told that I was too old to be a Knight, so I had to be a King. Obviously she wasn’t taking mental age into account. So of the Kings I chose the King of Wands. Maren laid this down and flipped over a card that completely covered my identity card. Her eyes got big and she immediately looked up at me. It was  the High Priestess card. “Are you psychic?” she said. “You’re either psychic or very intuitive.”

high priestess

I didn’t admit if I was psychic and allowed her to continue. She had laid out the cards in the Celtic Cross formation. I was pleasantly surprised that she was spot on accurate on a bunch of things and happily the final card of my reading was the Three Cups card seen below, which indicates a happy ending that apparently has nothing to do with a massage.  My interpretation of that is that in 4-5 months when my next book comes out you’ll all buy it and I’ll make the New York Times bestseller list. Don’t make the psychic a liar or she’ll curse you.


As far as the last card being the celebration of some accomplishment, you’d think if her goal was to make her customers happy she would give that card to everyone. I cut the deck three times before she dealt. Mrs. Phil and two friends also had readings and none received similar interpretations in their readings. In our discussion after we discovered that everyone’s readings were different and everyone felt she was surprisingly accurate, even the two of us that went in as skeptics.  My verdict: I think this lady really did have some psychic abilities. At the end she handed me her business card which said “Maren’s Messages. ” I was a little disappointed it didn’t say Maren’s Massages.” A massage and a psychic reading in one? How awesome would that be?

Ok, I know this didn’t have as much funny as most Saturday Phil Factors, so here’s my idea: Tarot reading is primarily the act of memorizing the meaning of 78 cards, laying them out and telling the subject what each card means and letting them interpret it through their own prism. If I’m psychic or intuitive, in addition to the fact that I have a Master’s in Psychology and spent many years as a therapist, I imagine that I’d be pretty good at this process.  What if, as a party entertainer I did humor infused psychic Tarot card readings? “What? The Death card! Ummm….no I don’t take credit. You’ll have to pay cash. Right now.”  Or maybe, if someone gets The Three of Wands “Oh sorry. Your co-workers like you….the way adults like Justin Bieber.”  I’m pretty sure that if I studied the cards and put some thought into it I could come up with a bunch of smart ass lines. What do you think? Should I go into the psychic party entertainment business? Also, would anyone be interested in my interviewing the psychic for a Phil Factor post?

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor I’d love it if you’d share it by the Facebook, Twitter, or reblog buttons below. Also psychic readings are now available on The Phil Factor for $25. Have a great Saturday! ~Phil 

21 responses to “Psychic or Psycho?

  1. Would love to see an interview with her!

    • Wow! You read my whole post? I think that’s the longest one I’ve ever written. I will probably interview the psychic regardless of how many people express interest. I find it fascinating.

      • Course I did! It’s not fair to click the like button just for the sake of it. Mind you, I can always tell when someone has liked one of my posts and not read it because of the split-second it takes them as soon as I’ve clicked the ‘publish’ button! In the meantime, I also find it fascinating. I have twice seen a psychic with much the same mindset going in. One was interesting and the other not so since it could be applied to anyone.

  2. Reblogged this on Words and other such dilemmas and commented:
    Always enjoy this blog. I thought I’d share the love…

  3. Well, we can’t be cursed by a psychic so we’ll have to all rush out and buy the book. And I would be interested in an interview with Maren. She’ll know all your questions beforehand, you know.

  4. Hilarious, but I’ll undercut your price for a reading to a tenner 🙂

    • So you’re a real gypsy? To be honest we went kind of hoping our reader would be dressed like the stereotypical gypsy fortune teller. She was pretty normal but obviously very good. Seriously, do you do readings?

      • 😉 I have similar views to you! I’m also a therapeutic counsellor with a belief in our ability to heal if we allow ourselves to!

  5. This post made me giggle, and if you are psychic, you will know why. Giggle. I would love to see the interview. And for the record, I do believe in psychic ability, but too many these days are charlatans. Well, except you Phil, of course. 🙂

  6. Ha, ha, ha, message and massage, we could only hope that both would have happy endings. So, where do I sign up for one of these Psychic Phil sessions?

    • Maybe I’ll start offering them online. Start looking for the Paypal button in my sidebar!

      • Yes, I was thinking that! After all that would be the only possible way for me to get a reading from you and I think I would have so much more faith knowing that I was getting a reading by someone I couldn’t even see!

  7. I read cards, and I read better for strangers. I don’t charge for it, it’s a bit of a hobby, and I certainly wouldn’t say I’m psychic, but highly intuitive, perhaps.

    Anyway, I used to see this psychic, who I referred to as Cowboy Bob, because he was dressed as such. That man was right about everything. I mean everything. The first time I saw him, when I left, I thought he was an idiot, telling me I’d be going to court, that I already knew the man I would marry. Within three months, I was working at a law firm, where I did, in fact, go to court often, and once my long-time friend kissed me, I did end up marrying him.
    I saw him again a few years later. He knew I was pregnant, told me it was a girl, said she would be Daddy’s favorite girl. At the time, I was not showing, and it was too early to determine the sex. At the ultrasound, I figured, 50/50. For the first six months of her life, she didn’t want her daddy at all. Now? Omagoodness, she really might be his favorite, because she’s so much like him.
    I saw Cowboy Bob a third time, and by then, I no longer questioned him. He did tell me though, he doesn’t read the cards. He’s actually listening to spirits while I focus on the cards.
    Then we moved states away. Since we came back, I’ve asked about him here and there, but no one has been able to direct me to him.
    Cowboy Bob. A real psychic.

    • Great story! I assume you’ve looked for Cowboy Bob online? So you think a cowboy outfit would help my psychic business? I was think of going with Batman. Psychic Batman! How great would that be?

      • I bet Psychic Batman would attract more attention and make more money than other Psychics!

        Nah, he’s actually Mark and I don’t know his last name: sigh.

  8. Please interview her. I used to read the Witch Cards years ago, but went more on intuition than the cards. There was a very regal
    lady I saw a couple of times who always gave accurate readings. She was. upon occasion, a consultant for the police. In the Manson case, she told them he was in the desert…and he was. She was elderly when I knew her, so assume she has gone to her heavenly reward by now.

  9. The Celtic cross formation may have something to do with your
    Heritage . You have English of course, but plenty of Scotch & Irish
    Genes. Aunt jeanette

    • Hi Aunt Jeannette, thanks for stopping by. My understanding is that the Celtic Cross is the pattern the psychic chooses to lay the cards out in based on their personal preference and style.

  10. I am getting more and more curious about learning Tarot but still a bit too afraid of the Death card to go there.

  11. Nice Post ! Thank you for sharing!

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