Chakra And Awe

By Rachel Machacek
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, January 7, 2007

Like most spiritually sensitive people, I accept the possibility of supernatural phenomena. I don't dismiss ghosts or past lives, admit to summoning celebrity spirits via Ouija board when I was a kid (sorry to bug you, Marilyn Monroe) and know which signs of the zodiac are compatible with mine.

As open-minded as I think I am, Dionne Warwick and her Psychic Friends Network have cast a hokey pall over the metaphysical world. Can people really communicate with spirits from the Great Beyond and guide us with tarot cards, crystals or their intuition? Is there something to all of this mysticism beyond late-night infomercials?

It was time for me to find out.

"A good psychic can make your jaw drop by telling you something no one else knows, and they'll validate decisions you've made," says Terri Rodabaugh, a Maryland-based tarot card reader and spiritual healer of more than 20 years.

Heading into the new year in search of a few jaw-dropping revelations, I decided to make back-to-back appointments one Saturday with five psychics. (I didn't disclose to them that I was writing an article, so I won't reveal their identities.)

As I set out for my pseudo-spiritual stroll, I wondered: Would they be able to tap into my innermost thoughts? Would they know of my jampacked itinerary? Would their messages be consistent? No need to read my mind for everything I was told. Just read on.

In Need of Balance

1:30 to 2:15 p.m.: Tarot card reading (half deck) in Dupont Circle, $35

The reading: In a room decked out with a ceramic Mary-and-Jesus egg and a weird bobblehead doll, the psychic deals my fate. My career is going well, she tells me. True.

And then it's all downhill. Sometime during 1997-98, I had a rough time and haven't fully moved on. True. Breakup, lost job -- pretty sure I'm over it, though. There's chaos in my love life. Yep. I've been dating a lot. The psychic tells me I pick the same bad apples over and over again and give too much to these "idiots." Crab apples aside, I'm "not meant to be single and have 99 cats." She has validated some fears here.

Then, from the deck she pulls the hat trick of spiritual hell -- the death, tower and devil cards. Yikes?!?! Just symbols, I'm reminded. But I am stuck, "gathering dust" and picking up on other people's negative energy. I'm afraid of change. Aren't we all?

Diagnosis: My chakras (the body's seven locations of life energy) are imbalanced, which is keeping me from my life's abundance.

Spiritual fix: Just as I was wondering how my psychic afforded rent and the highlights in her hair, she offered to meditate and pray for me, which she said would balance my chakras. And after three to five visits, I would sleep better and feel reinvigorated. And all of that could be done for $700 ($100 per chakra). Hmm, time for some comparison shopping.

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