This will be the last article The Washington Post writes about the 2016 campaign. There's no point, you see, for we already know how it turns out -- thanks to the combined efforts of three New York City psychics.
Or, to be precise: One astrologer, one numerologist/healer and one tarot card reader whose hand is guided by the archangel Michael. Over several recent visits, the three used their unique gifts to outline what we can expect from American politics for the next 16 months. And we -- in service to journalism, enlightenment and the ineffable binds of the universe -- present their revelations to you.
The astrologer: Angel Eyedealism
A large number of New York's psychics, including the three with whom I spoke, work out of what seem to be their homes. Astrologer Angel Eyedealism's (pronounced like "idealism") is a third-floor walk-up in the East Village, where we sat at a counter separating her kitchen and living room.
The theme of the apartment is pink, including a decent percentage of Eyedealism's hair. It's part of her shtick. "I've been an astrologer for over 20 years," she told me. "I'm also a singer and performance artist." The picture at right shows her ready to perform. When we met, she apologized for not being similarly made up; she was at maybe 90 percent.
As Eyedealism describes it, astrology is a "pseudoscience based on two exact sciences" -- those being astronomy and geometry. She uses software which can display where a variety of celestial bodies were in the sky over a location at a particular moment in time -- either in the past, particularly at birth, or in the future. She then interprets what their orientation means.
Here's what one of those charts looks like. It's Jeb Bush's "natal chart," as it appeared on her computer while we spoke. It shows the position of the heavens at the time and place of his birth: Feb. 11, 1953, 8:50 p.m. in Midland, Tex.
It's very complex, plotting 12 houses (the inner circle numbered 1 through 12) in four quadrants, and identifying four significant cusps (transitions between houses). Each house has meaning (the ninth, for example, is the house of politics, as well as some other things), each quadrant has meaning, and the celestial bodies represented on the chart -- which travel around it, counter-clockwise -- all have meaning, too. What Eyedealism does is interpret the overlap and relationships of all of it.
The most important cusp is the one at the top (between houses 9 and 10). It's the M.C., short for medium coeli, or "middle of the sky." That cusp represents fame and recognition. The three houses leading up to it -- the seventh, eighth and ninth -- are the third quadrant, what Eyedealism called the "rise to success" quadrant since they are the approach to the M.C.
The two most important celestial bodies (as I perhaps incorrectly understood it) are Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter represents wealth and expansion powered by good luck. Saturn represents success, too -- but the hard way or the sneaky way. (Eyedealism calls it the "Debbie Downer" house.) The theory is that those planets and where they are located can tell you the future.
Or the future of the presidency.
We started with Hillary Clinton, for whom Eyedealism had good news. "Hillary has Jupiter in the ninth house, the house of politics, now, and it is heading to conjunct her M.C.," Eyedealism said. "I'm getting goosebumps."
Translation: Jupiter, the good luck planet, is in Clinton's rise-to-success quadrant -- and in the political house -- on its way to conjuncting (intersecting with) the future. And it gets better for Clinton. Her Jupiter already conjuncted Pluto ("so she has luck and power behind her") and will conjunct Saturn ("so she's serious"). Or: "She has luck and a mother[expletive] plan," as Eyedealism succinctly put it. That good news has been building for the three years it took to get there.
But since the planets keep moving, and since we were looking at the skies right now, I asked how long Clinton could expect all these wonderful things to stay so wonderful. Jupiter, it turns out, will stay in her 10th house for a year after this fall. But all that luck won't evaporate a year from this fall (that is, right before Election Day), because she can keep building on the luck.
A few minor details: Clinton does want to watch her personality, though, because she has Saturn (Debbie Downer) in her personality house, Eyedealism explained. She's private and a bit paranoid (lots of Scorpio placements). She was born to speak to the public (Mercury conjuncts her ascendant). Luck, power and organization are on her side, but she has to clean up her socializing persona.
Other than that? Inevitable!
We started by looking at Clinton's Jupiter. Bush's Jupiter? In the 12th house, in the fourth quadrant. If you've been paying close attention, you understand that this is not ideal.
Bush's moon is in Capricorn, which has some tricky historic significance. Eyedealism outlined a variety of meanings one could derive from it, but the end results are: Jeb Bush would apparently rather have been an actor.
Bush has one favorable point. "His natal Vulcanus, the asteroid of strength and power, closely conjucts the M.C." -- meaning that strength and power are in his future, although Vulcanus is not nearly as big a deal as, say, Jupiter. Bush also should be good at using the Internet to raise money, because Uranus is in his eighth house, the house of money.
"Very powerful friends will be giving him money and luck right now," she said, which seems about right.
While astrology affords a lot of detail, there is a catch. Since lots of people were born in Chicago on the same day as Hillary Clinton but have not served as United States senators or twice sought their party's nomination for the presidency, you need as much refinement as possible in order to get the best picture for why their lives might be different. So Eyedealism includes birth time in her assessments. But the birth times of minor candidates -- the Vulcanuses of 2016, if you will -- are not readily available online. Clinton's is, Bush's is -- and Donald Trump's is, too, because he's a celebrity.
So, hey, let's look at Donald Trump. "I think I sold him a lollipop in a nightclub," Eyedealism said, somewhat off-topic. "Mr. Fuji's Tropicana. It was 1992. He was very charming. He was very sweet. I gave him a lollipop for some reason."
Returning to his astrology, Eyedealism announced: "He has Caput on his M.C.!" Meaning, he has nothing, I asked? No, Caput is "a demon star," one of the eyes of Taurus, which can be "fed" dark, edgy art, music and politics to earn wealth. Picasso had Caput on his M.C., she said; same with Johnny Depp.
Trump also has Jupiter in his house of money, so he has a lot of cash coming in and out (from himself?). He has Regulus on his ascendant, which explains his big hair for a reason I didn't follow. And also, Trump has a trine.
"Oh. Wow wow wow wow," Eyedealism said, staring through the pink darkness into her bright screen. "He has an exact trine between Uranus and Jupiter in his chart!" A trine is a good thing, and it means (as best I can tell) that objects appear at the same degree four houses apart. (So they neatly split the circle into a third.) Trump has Uranus in his 10th house -- career -- at 17 degrees, and Jupiter in the second house -- money -- also at 17 degrees.
"This guy would have to try very hard not to be a television celebrity with lots of money," she said. "He'd have to try very, very hard." I had to ask, then, what about all the other people who were born at the same time in the same place -- New York City. "Remember, not everyone lives out the potential of their chart," Eyedealism replied. "We have choices." Some people who could have been Donald Trump made choices not to be. Bad choices!
An important final note: In the second week of August, he's likely to gain some weight.
We only looked at three people. Of the three, Clinton appears to be dominant.
But after we spoke, Eyedealism sent an e-mail in which she was even firmer. The e-mail looked at the skies over Dixville Notch, N.H., on Election Night 2016. Dixville Notch is a tiny town with a handful of voters that opens for voting shortly after midnight to be the first to cast its votes. It's a fun tradition that kicks off the voting.
"According to [her personal adviser and astrologer] Bob Marks," she wrote in the e-mail, "if the chart is not adversely aspected, the party in power stays in power. The Democrats will stay in power, according to this chart, so whoever wins the Democratic primary will be the next President of the United States."
Meaning that Hillary Clinton will be our next president, unless, I guess, she chooses not to be.
Eyedealism pointed out at least four times that this was a "cold read." In other words, I stopped by on short notice, and she was relaying on what she saw on the charts as she first looked at them. With more time and more background, she could have offered more refined insights. So maybe Trump won't gain weight.
The numerologist: Angelia Johnson
We sat at the counter in Angelia Johnson's nicely appointed kitchen for her insights into the election. She apologized -- the office she would normally use was still under construction -- but didn't need to. The kitchen of her Flatiron District home was as large as most of my apartment.
"I have been a psychic professional healer and adviser for over 25 years," she said, "and have now graduated to psychic matchmaking." Her matchmaking will center on "numerology and their capability soul number." Numerology was the tool on which she focused using with the 2016 candidates -- again based on their birth dates -- but she also looped in her understanding of the candidates' energy and chakras, a.k.a. the theoretical centers of spiritual power in the body (based on a sheet of photographs I provided).
I'm unable to articulate how the energy/chakras thing -- what she calls "photo-telepathy readings" -- works. In those, she "connects with [people's] energy and picks up their vibrations." (She also has a system of lights for chakra therapy, which is at right. It looks like an upside down Pride Week menorah.)
The numerology is a bit more accessible. Here's how you calculate Hillary Clinton's power number. Take her birth date -- Oct. 26, 1947 -- and add all the digits. 1+0 plus 2+6 plus 1+9+4+7 , giving a total of 30. Then, take her current age -- 67 -- and add those digits together: 13. Then add all of the digits: 3 + 0 + 1 + 3, giving Clinton a soul number of 7.
That number tells Johnson some of what she needs to know about the person.
Johnson had calculated Clinton's number, but it was on her phone and her phone died, as they do. We relied on me to figure it out as we chatted.
The problem is that you can get the math wrong, as I realized I had when I was going back over my notes from speaking with her. I added 6+2+1 to get 10, meaning that the number we calculated for Clinton in the moment was 8, not 7. Oops.
Johnson explained what a power number of 8 means. "She's in the cycle: What she's giving out is what she's going to receive," Johnson said. "What her goal is set out to do, she's going to stand behind it, because it's going to come back to her." This is a positive. "Out of everybody," she said, "she's in the lead with her numbers." (What does a number of 7 mean? Stay tuned.)
As for the photo-telepathy reading, Johnson "likes Hillary's energy," but Clinton wasn't opening herself up to others. "When people see a woman coming forward, they want to see her feminism coming out. They want to see some of her emotions. They don't just want to see a robot. With a man, it's okay if they see a robot."
Bush's number, I got right: 3. "Because he's a three, he's connecting with people mind, body and spirit," she said. She returned to something she'd said earlier, that "his heart chakra is viving. So when he speaks, he's speaking from his heart." That's a good thing.
His name, however, was a problem. His last name wasn't great, because while Johnson "get[s] such good vibrations from him ... the background of his family is so negative. So we need a power to come out of him."
And then there's his first name. His name isn't really Jeb, as you probably know. It's John Ellis Bush, J.E.B. "If they would call him John, he would have much more power," Johnson said. "In numerology, your name represents your strength. It represents his power number. When you break down his name, it depletes his character. It depletes his strength."
So look for a new logo: "John!"
Christie is a visionary, thanks to his third-eye chakra. "If America could put two people together -- him and Hillary -- that could work as a team, that would be great," Johnson said. "He holds success in numbers." We didn't do his number; if you're curious, it's 4.
I showed her the sheet of photos of the candidates and she dismissed many of them. Most are just "getting their name out for the next time around." She asked who was leading in the polls, and I pointed to the photos of Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. "Oh no," she said. "Scratch them out of the box. They're not going to last for long."
However, she pointed to one photo. "This guy's energy is interesting!" she declared. "Who is he?" That, I told her, was Rand Paul. She liked his energy, because it seemed strong. America needs a president who is strong, that our enemies would be afraid to combat, she said, and many of the other candidates were weak.
We ran Paul's number: 7. "Hmm," she said. "He has the soul number. The soul number is a spiritual number, so he channels people's energy. He's probably very good with people, probably can take the most negative person and turn them around. ... He's a people person. He'd be good for negotiations because his spirit is so likable."
"I bet if you talk to a lot of people who know him," she said, "they'll say that."
Presumably, this also holds for Clinton, too.
She thinks the winner will be Clinton: "I'm not trying to stick with the ladies' side, but I'm being honest. I feel like this time, she's got a strong possibility."
When I spoke with Johnson by phone before we met, she was quick to caution that her insights are "for entertainment purposes only." By law in the state of New York, giving a psychic reading without the understanding that it's only for entertainment purposes is a misdemeanor. (To our readers in New York: Consider this article for entertainment purposes only.)
In a notorious recent case, a Midtown Manhattan psychic was arrested for grand larceny after convincing a man from Brooklyn to spend more than $700,000 chasing down a lost love who, it eventually turned out, had died. It seems likely that the psychic's victim wasn't convinced the efforts were solely for the purposes of entertainment.
The tarot reader: Angela Lucy
I met Angela Lucy in her doorman building by Union Square. Lucy had gotten interested in tarot in college, thanks to her roommate. She taught herself how to read cards and slowly started reading for people. About four years ago, she decided to give up the temp agency she ran and focus on tarot full-time.
As we spoke, it struck me that it was interesting that her name was Angela, given that the first person I spoke with was named "Angel" and the third "Angelia." I asked Lucy if the name was common in her profession.
She asked the cards. "They were trying to keep you away from the dark people," she said, meaning fortune-tellers with nefarious motives.
So: Thanks, Angels.
How does she ask the cards? Lucy is guided, she says, by the archangel Michael, the angel that threw Satan out of Heaven. "He's all about clarity," she said. "He's a big truth-sayer. No B.S. from archangel Michael."
Lucy would hand me the deck of tarot cards, 78 in total and one of the scores of sets she owns. The one we used was large, maybe the size of a large cellphone, and heavy. You've probably seen tarot cards in person or in movies: The Hanged Man, The Wheel of Fortune, etc. There are also numbered, suited cards something like a normal deck of playing cards, but with unusual suits: wands (staves, on her deck), cups, swords and pentacles. Each card has its own meaning, as do the suits and the figures.
I would think of a question I wanted the cards to answer as I shuffled them. When I was done, I gave them back to Lucy, who cut them as she quietly intoned a request to Michael. Then, she'd flip over the cards and offer her insights on what they meant.
We started out by talking about three Republicans. The phrasing of the question is important; mine was, "Who will be the most successful in the Republican primary: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Scott Walker?"
First, Bush. She flipped a card: The seven of wands. "He's going to be a contender," she said. The card generally means success. When considering things like chances or odds, she reads the number -- seven -- as a percentage, say, 70 percent.
Next, Rubio. She flipped a card: The three of pentacles. The race will be "a learning experience for him. Let's put it this way: He'll get schooled," she said. (The three of pentacles means learning or schooling.)
Third, Walker. She flipped a card: The queen of swords. "Um, what's going on with his wife?" she asked. (On my recording, I reply: "Uh, I don't know?") "I get a wife or a woman, something happening with a very intelligent, mathematically minded woman," she said -- and probably not Clinton, because this was just within the primary.
Then we did three more: Ben Carson (whom she likes), Rand Paul and Donald Trump.
Carson: two of pentacles. "He's going to do okay," she said. But it's a low number, so she's thinking vice president.
Paul and Trump's cards I didn't write down (is this a sign?) and they got reshuffled before I could take a picture. But both will do well.
Paul is "going to be up there," Lucy said. But "he has a lot of subconscious fears." She had a physical reaction to him. "I feel it here," she said, holding her stomach. "He's scared. I'm feeling it right here. He's definitely a contender, but he's fearful."
Trump? "I get him really being up there!" she said. "This is a very confident card."
We started with Hillary Clinton: Five of cups. That means heartbreak or divorce. "I'm getting a sadness," Lucy said. "I'm wondering if something sad happens. This is an emotional thing. Wow."
Curious about the weird result, Lucy flipped more cards. "Something bad's going to happen. ... Power. ... Something about another woman. ... There's some tragedy." Michael was unable to offer more clarity on that point.
He was, though, on the key point. "Michael, is she going to get the nomination?" Lucy asked. She flipped the ace of cups (which she described as a "yes" card). "She's going to get the nomination," she said, "but there's something emotional that happens" -- maybe something that inspires sympathy in voters.
As expected, Clinton's opponents aren't going to offer much resistance. Bernie Sanders: The princess of swords. "He's not serious. He's just messing with Hillary," Lucy said. "He doesn't want it. He's pushing it away."
Martin O'Malley: The king of swords. "He's got a bad adviser," she said. "He's letting someone else run his campaign, but he has to run it himself. It doesn't work that way. He doesn't have the cojones."
The general election
Who, I asked, would win the presidency: the Democrat or the Republican?
She flipped Wheel of Fortune for the Democrats -- but upside down. "I get only a 10 percent chance and this card came upside down ... it means turning in reverse." For the Republicans, she got no number at all. So she pulled a third card, the six of cups, for an independent candidate. "Sixty percent chance an independent candidate spoiler!" she said. (And then laughed, "Maybe it's Ben Carson!")
She flipped a few cards again to get more clarity. The second time around, she pulled a four (40 percent) for the Republicans. But for the Democrats, she pulled the five of cups -- the same card she pulled for Hillary Clinton.
These are the moments that fans of psychics pay for.
The independent threw everything off. The first card she flipped was focused on nostalgia, meaning perhaps someone voters had known before. She kept flipping cards: Someone sweet. Someone people knew and liked. Someone with a strong wife, or perhaps a strong independent woman, like Carly Fiorina.
Someone people will be talking about, Lucy said -- which, if this in fact happened, would be a safe bet.
The reading is only as things stand now. "Everybody has free will, and they can use it when they want to," Lucy said. "Even the angels can't mess with free will."
She asked Michael how she was doing on the reading as she was trying to sort out the independent candidate. "He's reminding me that there's a lot of subconscious stuff that's still floating around in the ethers." The closer to an event, the better the reading.
Lucy said, too, that she'd sensed a shift even within the past few days as she'd looked at the election herself. "Last time I looked, it still looks like Hillary in the end," she said. "But things shifted; I think it had to do with South Carolina. I was like, Whoa. I even felt the energy shift." There are a lot more opportunities for something to shift between now and next November.
With a laugh, Lucy offered a recommendation for any candidates seeking more insight: Come see her for a reading shortly before any big decisions.
We'll point out, though, that doing so would be for entertainment purposes only.