Meet The Real-Deals Of NYC Fortune Telling

As New Yorkers, we tend to be hesitant, skeptical…maybe even suspicious. Why is that guy asking for my number? You actually DO have those sale shoes in my size? What's the catch? But, almost paradoxically, when it comes to the big-picture life stuff, we tend to let our hearts lead the way, accepting feeling as fact. That is, when the feeling comes from a top professional in the life-predicting, celestial field. We're talking about life coaches of the other-worldly kind—psychics, astrologers, tarot card and palm readers—who have the ability (we're not questioning how) to offer up insights on all of your burning questions—love, success, health, and, you know, the future.
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But, let's be honest: Our skeptical hearts know there are a lot of fakes out there. That's why, in order to truly de-mystify the mysticism, we researched the very best of the omniscient bunch—Frank Andrews, Stacey Wolf, and Mark Seltman—who have thousands of trusting clients and decades of experience between them, to find out what's really going on in the most mysterious corners of your life.
What we discovered? Not only do these gifted locals know what they're talking about (really!), but with past devotees like Andy Warhol, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Princess Grace of Monaco, and many, many more, it's their fortune-telling as much as their storytelling that's kept us hooked. Now, it's your turn. Suspend your doubts, light a candle, and click through.
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Frank Andrews, 261 Mulberry Street (between House & Prince streets); 212-226-2194.

When did you realize that you had an "other worldly ability"?
You have to understand that when I was growing up, something like this was not talked about, and now, of course, it's on television. There was The Medium, The Ghost Whisperer, The Mentalist. Anyway, what happened was I was about ten years old and in the middle of the night, the room got very hot — which is very rare because when you have a ghost, it's always very cold. I saw this woman at the edge of the bed, and as far as I knew, she was very much alive — knew her, I actually knew her. So, I looked and I said, 'My god, you look so beautiful.' She looked much better now than she did in life. And then, I said, 'Why are you here?' And she said, 'I came to say goodbye.' And with that, just like Walt Disney, there were fireworks and she was gone. In the morning, I was having breakfast. The phone rang in the other room and my mother went over and she answered it. She came in with this look on her face and she looked at me and said, 'Guess who died last night?' And I said, 'Grace.' And she said, 'How did you know?' I said, 'She was in my bedroom. I saw her. She was at the foot of the bed.'

Was she was supportive?
"Yes, she was very supportive. Well, you see, my mother was funny. She'd be on the phone and I'd hear her say, 'Get rid of the son of a bitch. You know he's cheating on you!' And I said to her one day, 'You know, how do you know these things. Are you a detective?' And she said, 'Oh, Frankie, everybody knows. It's just something you can do.' So, she never made any big thing. My father, on the other hand, they would call up and say, 'Hey, who's gonna win the fights tonight?' And he'd say, 'Ah, so-and-so will knock 'em down in the fifth round.' And so-and-so did! And I'd say, 'Daddy, how are you getting that?' And he'd say, 'Ah, you just can do.' They didn't think of it the way we're talking. It's just common sense. I just feel it."

They had intuition?
"Yeah, but they don't even use those words, you know what I mean? Because it was that era, and you just didn't. And so, when I came to New York, I met this marvelous old gal who was the basis for a book called Auntie Mame, and they made a Broadway play, a movie, and they went on to making it to a musical. She was living on Bank Street in the Village and so I met her and we were sitting there in the kitchen and before the phone rang, I said, 'You know, that guy that eats here, he's gonna get into a lot of trouble. This guy is trouble, I'm telling you.' Then the phone rings, and guess what? He was trying to blow up the telephone company, so he got arrested. So, she says, 'Oh, what big eyes you have!' So, with that, they kept pushing me to study."

How do you explain your power to other people?
"How do I explain it? Well, it's just something that I think is natural. I mean, let's say, you and I go take an art class, and maybe one of us might Paint by Numbers, another one might paint a wall, and another might paint a mural, and somebody else is gonna paint the Sistine Chapel. So, it depends on the different degrees we have."
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So, do you think everyone is born with varying levels of psychic ability?
"Yeah, that's right. I think that everybody was thinking of a person at one time or another. I don't even tell clients anymore. I used to say, 'Oh! They were just thinking about you.' And finally I said, they're not gonna believe me anymore. So, what I do is once in a while, when I think of somebody, I call them. And they scream — I love that — they just go crazy. They go, 'I was just thinking about you!' I say, 'I wondered. I thought maybe.' But I make light of it, because you don't want to get too ego-heavy. You get the ego and you lose it. You can very easily lose it. Like, I used to be really good on 'Are you gonna have a boy, he's gonna have red hair, he's gonna be born late.' And I used to do that, and I was feeling so proud of myself, and ever since then, the gods have cursed me. It's like, I can't do it anymore. I said, 'Okay, I promise I won't be that way anymore.' No, but I got so excited because I was nailing it. Finally, somebody said, 'Nuh-uh.'"

So, you just have to just take it as it comes and not look for it? Would that be your advice to people who are looking for it?
"First of all, look for the signs. In the old days, you'd be walking through the woods and maybe you'd find a white feather and that might tell you something. It might say, 'Wow, go that way' or 'There's danger.' But, there's that thing in our heads that we hear. Some people are very dense, I mean, really dense."

What would you be doing if you weren't doing this?
"Well, when I came to New York, I came to be a pantomimist. I wanted to be like Marcel Marceau — it's funny because I love to talk."
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You've been doing this for quite a while. Do you have anybody who looks to you as a mentor in this field?
"Well, I have a few students. Yes, I have some, yes, that are really good, too. You need that one person to turn you on."

Did you have someone like that?
"Yeah, I had several teachers. I call them 'teachers.' Unfortunately, I was only about 18, and they were all in their seventies. So, I was able to squeeze a good ten years with each one of them, before they all died."

How did they teach you?
"Well, one taught me the hand. She was probably the best psychic the world will ever see. Her name was Florence Meschter. She was the protégée of the man who wrote the definitive book called, The Laws of Scientific Hand Reading by Dr. Benham, and he sings her praises. She was amazing. So, I studied with her for five years. And, before she died, when people said if anything happens to you, who shall we go to, she said, 'You'll go to Frank, except he's a gypsy,' and she'd laugh. You see, because I loved cards. I would do things she wouldn't do. I like to try to go out there on a limb and she was strictly about character analysis. But, I can't believe she wasn't using psychic ability, she was too on the money. She was one, and there were two others that were absolutely amazing. One taught me tarot cards, and one taught me metaphysics."
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For your students, do you charge for classes like that? How do you set your prices?
"I was doing it for free. I'll teach anybody for free, but then, they felt funny. So, I said, 'Okay, twenty-five bucks.' Now, I do have one student who pays me fifty dollars, which is very lovely, you know, but most of them pay twenty-five. If they can't afford it, then I do it for free."

Are there any misconceptions or myths you'd like to debunk about having these abilities?
"Well, everybody's talking about curses. That's usually nonsense, I'm gonna say usually. I mean, I will say honestly, in 50 years, there were about four people who have walked through this door, and I said, 'Look, I don't say this publicly, but something terrible is around you.' And their stories were fascinating."

Are there any intersections between what you do and any given religions?
"Not really, no, I think I'm a Pagan. I believe in the gods and goddesses. I love the moon, and there used to be goddesses, but, you know, all the religions did away with her. Ever since she took an apple and poisoned him, she became second class."
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Do you have intuition about yourself?
"Yeah, but I'll tell you, sometimes when I see what I see, it just drives me crazy."

Does anything surprise you anymore?
"Not really, but yes, it does. I mean, I get so excited. The day I find it, sure, then it's all over. If I get bored, I know it's over. I mean, I could tell you a story when you come about that statue in there, you're gonna say, 'You're making that up.' You're gonna scream. But we'll save it."

What is your biggest accomplishment and what do you hope to accomplish in the coming year?
"Let's see. My biggest accomplishment. Well, certainly, I wouldn't think of it as a material thing, but it's fortunate that I have met a lot of people who really do love me. I'm really blessed with that. But the fact is, people really do like me and that's important."
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Stacey Wolf, 160 West 71st Street (at Broadway); 212-330-8189.

When did you realize you had astrological, otherworldly, what you would call psychic abilities?
"I made my first prediction when I was three, but I don't think I can actually remember. I've been told the story and retold the story so many times. I was standing by the door with my mother, and the nursery school bus was late. I looked at her and said, 'Don't worry, the bus is going to be late today because Ms. Mary broke her arm last night.' When the bus came, it was late and Ms. Mary wasn't driving because she had broken her arm the night before. So, that was my first experience, but I've always been psychic. And, I've always found the whole thing so fascinating. In high school, I'd study hand-reading and astrology, taking every book out of the library. In college, I'd do psychic party tricks and read people's driver's licenses just for fun. Still, it's definitely a skill you need to develop. I mean, having dreams and picking out feelings is nice, but in order to do this as a business, there really is a skill you need to develop. As an adult, I worked at MTV as an associate producer, and I started reading tarot cards. I went to a really bad tarot card reader and I just wanted to find out how she did it, I thought 'There must be a practical way to read these cards!' So I started studying the language, and started reading for friends, and then became a professional."

Is it practical?
"Absolutely! I mean, it's a skill and you have to like it. Just like developing anything else –– becoming a black belt, meditating –– or anything worth studying, takes time. I guess there is a natural skill set you have to have, you have to be reflective and creative or enjoy meditation and psychology. If you enjoy those sorts of things, and are willing to learn and develop those qualities, it's possible."

Did you have a mentor, and if not, how would you coach someone in this profession? Is there a set routine?
"I mean, you get what you focus on. One simple thing you can do is sit down every morning and write down three things that will happen today. Just sit down, shut off all your senses, your phones, the lights even, and just say 'What are three things that will happen today?' If you don't have time everyday, maybe once a week. You'd be surprised! What happened to me, I was playing with the tarot cards with my friends, and they'd say 'What you told me three months ago, it all came true!' And then I'd say, you know 'Get out of town! I was just making it all up, I don't know what I'm doing!' I mean, that's how it all started. When it's on paper, it's not lying to you. Or maybe start a dream journal. Force yourself to wake up, and write down the dream, and wait to see how they play out in life."

Do you think there's merit to the idea that dreams are prolific or do you think it's more symbols?
"I don't think those dream dictionary books do people a real service. Dream interpretation is a real skill, and our fears and issues do play out in our dreams, but a good psychologist can bring that into focus best. When my grandmother came and visited me the night she died in my dream, I do believe that was a real experience. I do believe they can be prolific, but not all of them. The power of the mind is very impressive."
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How do you explain your power, especially for you. If its something you've grown into, is it a power or a skill?
"It's both. Most of the work I do is psychic work, but there's some astrology work. Out of my five books, three of them are astrology books. I wrote the astrology column for Cosmo and I did two of its January booklets, so I am a prolific writer of astrology and that's fun, but the lion share of my work is psychic work. I do a lot of work in person and on the phone, so I have clients from all over the world, basically. Here's what I always say: 'Everyone can play basketball, but how many Michael Jordan's or how many Carmelo Anthony's are out there?' On the one hand, there's a skill we can develop, but it depends. I'm an avid reader, and I have a high bar for what really is effective work, whether it be medication, psychology, or a really good book, and I don't tolerate all the nonsense that's out there. I love Malcolm Gladwell, and if you've read Outliers, you'll know about the infamous '10,000 hours.' Look at studies of people, and the anecdotal evidence, it's 10,000 hours. I studied this stuff for hours, hours, hours, so I don't know if it's more nature or something else. We all have an inner compass, we just need to learn how to use it."

What do you say about store-front psychics versus what you consider the 'real deal'? And, do you think it takes as long to find a good psychic, as it does to find a great psychologist in New York?
"I always say 'Ask for a reference!' That's a way to avoid the bad. There's a real difference between people who take advantage of clients; dragging them in for five dollars, then telling them that they have a 'hole in their aura.' They scare the crap out of people, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Anybody who doesn't do something without integrity, should be ashamed of themselves. But then there are the people who don't know they're mediocre at readings, but I'm also not for mediocrity. Not everybody can read for everybody –– you can be able to read for a lot of people, but a psychic knows when they're not connecting with somebody."

Do you know that instantly?
"Pretty much. And I say 'I'm sorry!' But it's so so rare. When you have such a strong gift, there's a way to connect with everybody."

I spoke to another psychic, and I asked him what he does when he's found out his reading was wrong. He said that they just have to wait longer, and usually they find out he was right. Is that something you believe as well?
"It happens! With one client, I told her that she'd be pregnant in four months –– in those instances, you're either right or wrong –– but she came back to me at about four months, and she was so upset! I said 'Let's take another look!' I have a lot of integrity, and if you offer a service like this, you need to be a peak performance every time to fix that. I looked at her, and she was pregnant, but she didn't even know it. It happens! You're not always right, and sometimes people do have to wait for something, or a person isn't connected, or they're in denial. I've given readings for 20 years, I know. But no, I don't hear that I'm wrong very often. If I hear things, it's just that the timing was off, but that it all came true."
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What are some crazy client examples or remarkable instances that you can speak to? Do you ever tell people to make choices?
"Yes. Sometimes I see two distinct paths, and I'm like 'Listen, you have two options here: Which way do you want to go?' Let me put it this way: If we've put so much energy into our identity, we're not going to suddenly change. The biggest thing I bring to people is that I look at their energy, their fears, their beliefs, or the way they interact with the world, and can help them change to get what they want. I can see the true core of someone, and I tell them to take out what's not working, and they get it! They can see what doesn't belong, and they get it. That's what's really wonderful. This happens a lot with questions of love. I read women of all ages, from women in their '20s who have plenty of new people to meet, to women in their '40s, whose pool has dwindled. You get to a certain point where you have to do something more proactive for love, whether that's going to different matchmakers, or dating services, joining upscale gyms, tech meetups…I tell people this, and they don't want to know. That's something I'm good at: giving people suggestions and reframing issues or limitations. It's very freeing to people."

It's interesting to see when people accept specific advice, you know –– don't talk to that woman, or don't go on the plane –– and they'll not get on the plane, and stay alive…
"Usually that happens to people who have their own intuitions already, but that's not really what we do. I really do warn people. For instance: there was a woman who really wanted to get married, and I told her that she was going to have some misses in the near future, but that she'd meet someone in a year. You like him, and you have to be really aware of the signals you're getting from him. You might be dating him for nine months, and he might be all alone wanting to get married and have children, but when it comes to the breaking point, I think you'll feel that you wasted nine months of your life, if you're not careful. I'll say that sort of thing to people; to watch out for signals."

How does that work? If the person was to do nothing proactively? Would she still meet that guy? I believe in this stuff wholeheartedly, but how much of this stuff dictates the reality?
"Some people will meet someone anyway. So, sometimes there's no suggestion needed because it's all right there. They're already plugged in! It's when people are stuck, and not plugged in. And that's what I like about being a psychic, and not a psychologist, because they have a set of ethics, or code, and they don't want to affect people. When I have an opinion, or when someone is abusing my client, I'm going to look in their eyes, and try to make an impression, and try to affect them. I think if I can affect someone in a positive way, saying 'This is how you're interacting with the world, and it has to change!', that's a good thing. Especially when it comes to love, people are very confused. With controlling people, with that set of behaviors that near on a personality disorder, I'm able to say so and affect change."

How has your ability helped or hurt your life, and those of your friends and family?
"I try to be very helpful to people. So, I was adopted, and when I told my mother about Ms. Mary, they were like 'Oh my God!', 'How did you know that?' They just had no frame of reference for that sort of thing. I just kept it hidden, and now I'm very passive with it. I have a very traditional family, and I love them very much, but I don't feel the need to share this with them, nor do they ever ask. I have a group of friends, who will on occasion, ask me something, or I'll share it with my fellow psychics, but I don't try to insert myself in places that I don't belong."
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Is that hard? Do you have intuitions that impede?
"You can either be 'in' or 'out' in this world — I meditate before my sessions and I'm very aware of the power of my words. If I'm at a party and I'm talking to people, and I have a strong feeling, I'll say something, but that's not really any different from any woman with a strong intuition or awareness. When I have my cards and my recorder, and have meditated, I'll make predictions that I can truly back up. I have a process, and if I'm not working, then I don't make predictions. I don't want to be a psychic that just blurts things out –– that's flippant."

What do you tell the skeptics?
"I don't need to change anyone's mind. I'm not here to confront anyone –– but I also believe that skeptics have had these experiences. I've gone to parties, and they find out what I did, and they'll tell me about them."

How do you determine the prices for your sessions?
"Everybody I know who does this will say it's very draining. I have peak performance, and I'm a professional, so there's only a certain amount of readings I can do in a week. People can look at it and say it's expensive, but there aren't a lot of psychics who do what I do, or at my level. My prices reflect my professionalism and all the things I bring to the table; all the knowledge. It is limiting. The people I know who do this only do it for two or three hours a day, two or three times a week. And there is a tremendous amount of administrative stuff that has to happen –– scheduling, MP3s…there's energy that goes into the session that's not about the hour price."
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What's the hour price?
"I've been getting tired –– so, there is a standard rate for those earning over $20,000, but I have a discount rate for those who don't. I've been a heavy lifter for 20 years, but I think in terms of my own energy, l can't be available to everybody, and keep going another ten years…40 minutes is $275 or $375. For an hour, it's $375 or $475. There's also a 20 minute extension rate. But, I may be raising these rates."

What's a common misconception?
"That you're always open. That it's easy to just go from one consciousness, and switch into a reading. There are switches that happen, and we have to be careful about their energy, the same way that anyone would need to be careful about how much they work. There is a lot of prep work that goes into doing a good job for people."

What is your biggest accomplishment, and what do you hope to accomplish in the coming year?
"My biggest accomplishment is that I'm a writer in addition to readings. I love that I've written five books. I'm especially proud of being revolutionary in my thinking. My last book, I did a wedding planning guide to not forget who they are. That wasn't about astrology –– and I enjoyed marrying subjects, and putting subjects through the lens of astrology. When I was fourteen, I stole my mother's Cosmos, and all these years later, I got to write that book! Being recognized as someone at the top of their field was really amazing. Those editors work really hard, but it was really fun, and amazing to see all the international editions. For the future, I want to write a novel, or a screenplay, and I also have some app ideas, or a website."
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Mark Seltman, 111 East 7th Street #72 (between 1st Avenue and Avenue A); 518-677-3513.

When did you realize you had astrological, otherworldly, what you would call psychic abilities?
"No, I wouldn't call it psychic. I think of myself more a scientist, than a psychic. I don't think that I actually realized it until after a series of business disasters, when I decided that –– given that I had a healthy life and considered myself a healthy person –– there must be some reason that this was happening, and maybe I wasn't supposed to be doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing. So, I started looking into this stuff: I went to the top astrologers, the top hand-readers, the top tarot-readers, just to see what they had to say about me. I was amazed that they were able to get as much as they got. Then I thought, 'If they can get that much, I can get even more, because I know myself better than anybody.' So I started taking classes and studying, and I found it fascinating –– I got hooked! My teachers would say 'If you want to go deeper, you have to start reading other people!' So, I started reading people basically for free, and found that I was good at it. Of course, my family is full of psychiatrists and psychologists (laughs), so it's not like it was something new. I'd always been interested! I'd always been interested in mythology and character, too, so it came kind of naturally, but I think that ultimately I decided to hang out a shingle because I didn't need to change the world anymore. I didn't need to be a super-wealthy entrepreneur."

What would you be doing, if not this?
"I was an industrial designer originally, but I actually wanted to be a musician and an artist. Like you, I decided that I didn't want to be a starving artist or starving musician, so I got practical and became an industrial designer, which combined objectivity and creativity. I could still be an artist, but I also became an expert in materials and manufacturing processes. Ultimately, though, that resulted in a lot of pollution of natural resources."

Time-wise, space-wise, I imagine you think a lot bigger than normal people do — how do you reconcile that with daily life? As an astrologer, how do you deal with the broadened perspective that comes with the profession.
"Daily life includes that. There's a whole community of people like me out there; it's a big world. I communicate with people all over the world that are like-minded. On a daily basis, a lot of life is mundane and I go about it like everyone else. On a personal level, I'm pretty constantly and frequently communicating with all kinds of people. You sort of have this perspective and think 'This is sort of an insane asylum,' because no one's practicing what they're preaching. We're almost the opposite of what you'd think is healthy and natural. So, if religion takes the place of spirituality; money takes place of values; everything is all twisted up!"

When you read for people that are all twisted up, do you try to set them on the straight and narrow? Tell them like they are?
"No. It's not necessarily what you say, but how you say it, that matters in the end. My mantra is: be constructive, be helpful, leave people feeling hopeful, or don't say anything at all."

Really? So, will you omit if you see something gloomy?
"It's not so much being gloomy, or what people call the 'good' or the 'bad,' I don't see things that way. We're all growing in our own ways, and each of us have our challenges. I like to present a person with what their issue is or what it is they need to work on, but in a way that actually –– I'm not a clock-watcher; sometimes I won't let someone leave if they're the same person they were when they walked in –– has some value. I like to present a person with a plan on what to do next."
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As you know, we've spoken with two other psychics, and they can get very specific about timelines and about what's going to happen. How do you distinguish what they do from what you do, and how do you distinguish astrology versus psychics? How direct do you get when giving predictions?
"I don't like doing predictions. Palmistry is all about character –– nobody can do character better than me, I don't care who it is! As far as timing, I use astrology for timing. I understand life cycles, that's why it helps to use the charts. In the hand, there's a lot of information in a little amount of space, so if you're looking for details, that's not the place to go. If you're looking for gestalt, absolutely it's the right place to go. Sometimes people ask questions about other people –– you can't answer that from astrology or hands, so you look at the tarot. I use all three when I do private readings. For things like special events, I'll do five-minute quickies; I'll nail one person, next, next, next. Each thing has its specific purpose, and the more people you read, the better you get at being intuitive."

Could you talk about that "intuitivity"? Do you "feel" something about a person when they walk in?
"You can, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're right."

What do you do when you're wrong in your reading? Are you ever?
"Rarely. Although you can tell how a person's responding by their energy and their eyes. So, in a second, you can turn the wrong around. I mean, a lot of people so don't know themselves that they actually believe that just because you're an expert in your field, you must be right. That's a dangerous thing! People in the helping professions have too much power, and other people tend to put them on a pedestal. They're only like everyone else and they can make mistakes. Personally, I encourage people to say something if they don't feel that what's coming down is right."

In terms of the timeline with astrology, have you ever had any incredible situations or success stories?
"Yes actually, I've had several success stories! Some people have asked for a lotto number, and I'll tell them 'Well no, but I can give you a time to play.' And based on their astrological symbolism, I'll look for the best date and time for them to play, when the planets are harmonious. Several times, I've had people come in and tell me they'd won small jackpots."

Well, we'll have to discuss that after this. So, you say that you started out reading yourself, and knowing yourself, and then you expanded on that. Does knowing yourself so well, or knowing what's to come, interfere with your relationships and daily life?
"No, no one knows what's going to come. You just project the best possible thing to come, and go for it!"
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So, you believe in the power of positive thinking?
"We'll never have different genetics, or different history, but we can certainly decide what's next."

Do you decide what's happening next based on actions, thoughts, or knowing your chart?
"All three."

What are the intersections between tarot, hand-reading, and astrology?
"Oh, they're all based on numbers. Go back to Kabbalah, and you'll see they're all connected to Kabbalistic thinking and history."

Will you tell me more about that?
"Actually there's a woman in town named Ellen Goldberg, who's an expert in that area, and if you're interested in the facts, she'd be great to consult. The stuff is ancient: Hand-reading is 3,500 BC, Vedic, and astrology is also several thousand years old. Tarot has only been known for several centuries, but it's also ancient. In our heritage, you're supposed to have studied torah for 40 years before you even start Kabbalah. People here just go to the center, and they go to a Yoga class and start practicing. All this stuff is connected, they just have different uses. For the unconscious: definitely tarot. For timing and lifecycles: no question, astrology is great for that. The predictive part of astrology depends on exactness, so some people love their sun-sign columns and they're everywhere, but they're superficial. They work, but they're just not accurate in terms of exactness. For character: hand-reading is unmatchable. They work synergistically."

How does all of this play into religion?
"Spirituality is the basis for religion; religion is the doctrine and codes that keep everyone in line and working. But you know, it's a moral code. A long time ago, some men got together and wrote all these rules and regs to keep people from being too barbaric."
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How do you set prices for your readings?
"I tend to be at the top of my particular field, but because so many people are competent (they're not great, but good enough, work for cheap), I end up passing on a lot of stuff. When I was in the furniture business, people would go to the Greeks, and they'd get what they paid for. If you want quality and reliability, you'll come here. I don't need business where I'm working for nothing. I do charity work, too, and I do work on a sliding scale for people who don't have money, but most of my clients are pretty well-to-do."

Do your prices start low and then get higher?
"They started out low, and now I won't go below (unless it's a sliding-scale person) $250 for a reading."

But you don't time it?
"No, I never time it, and I never put two people back to back. If someone needs more time, they get more time. They're are a lot of clock-watchers out there, and I don't think that's the way to do this."

Can you teach someone to do or know all the things you do?
"Yes, but there's no substitute for practice or time. It's taken a lot of years to get to this place. It's mostly picking away details until you get there. I don't know if you've seen it, but my blog is really the first of its kind in the world. It's all about narrative and storytelling, and over time, I plan to pour out everything that I know on there."

You said that this is so ancient and historic, yet you author a blog –– how do you think the field is changing with technology?
"It's the same science, same mythology, it's all one big dysfunctional family, and it's still active. All the Greek and Roman Gods, they're still all alive and well. We each have archetypes that are dominant in us, and the only difference between us and the ancients, is that we have different relationships with those different archetypes. They're colored in astrology by the signs, the location, the relationships, but it's all the same thing. Now, we're in the age of social networking, and though I've never been a big fan of it, I'm now versed in it. I don't know how else to get my stuff out there."
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We did a story when Mercury was in retrograde, and what that means for you. I feel like people think it's a new idea, despite that it's old and that there were problems with technology at that time. Can you speak to that, and about other over-arching periods of time or themes that affect everyone, and how so?
"Astrologers quake at Mercury Retrograde because communications are off, and people who were supposed to return your calls, don't. Most astrologists advise: 'Don't sign contracts!', 'Don't purchase anything that's electronic!', but I think it wreaks more havoc on Mercury people (people who are Geminis or Virgos, or have a lot of Mercury in their symbolism). Or, if you were born with Mercury retrograde, then you might be in harmony with that particular time. Think of the Void Of Course Moon time (the moon disappears for a while out of its sign, and when it's not there, astrologers recommend not calling, or scheduling appointments): you still have to live your life. People say to me, 'Does astrology run your life?' and I say that I will do absolutely everything, wherever the planets are, and continue my life. Perhaps I'll be more cautious, or do something differently, but I won't stop my life for the period of 18 days that's Mercury Retrograde."

Do you read for people you know?
"I prefer not to read for people I know. It's hard to be objective; it's a subjective thing when it's someone you know. I qualify it first, or I'll put bookmarks in places, depending on what they're telling me, and I'll tell them to read it themselves. People will say, 'You're my spiritual counselor!' and try to turn me into something I'm not. I'm just trying to be their friend, and I'd rather speak as a friend."

My mother used to say, "The lesson will come back to find you, and you'll keep making the same mistake bigger and bigger and bigger, until you learn your lesson!" Is that true? How does Astrology prove that that's true?
"It's a matter of consciousness — I mean, we have patterns! I knew a psychiatrist who said that people would come when they're ready and get what they need, but that doesn't mean that they won't come back if the first thing that stimulated their problem returns. I think your mother's right. Let's say you're a 'fixed person (a person that fights change)'; it will be harder for you than the person who embraces change. Whatever it is you're holding onto, you're needing to keep learning the same lesson over and over again. Circumstance pushes people. Let's say you don't do it for yourself, you've finally made a choice; the writing's on the wall; you're still trying but circumstance comes along and gives you a push."

If this is formulaic, or mathematical, then if I went to another astrologer, would my chart look the same? What makes a better astrologer –– is it just practice make perfect?
"Well, it's all about interpretation. I use graphic astrology because I like to look at it as a larger picture. The best astrologers are the ones that have been doing it for a really long time; they're really seasoned. They're living it."

How do you live it? How does one practice what they're preaching? What are you preaching?
"I don't like the word 'preaching.' It's more about if you're advising someone, then you shouldn't advise someone to do something that you're not doing yourself. So many astrologers don't have a clue on how to have a good relationship, but continue advising people on how to have one. That doesn't mean it's not good advice, or it's not helpful, but if I were going out for a good relationship, I'd seek out someone with a happy, healthy relationship to talk to. The chemistry is important, too –– if you walk in and you feel that something is weird, it's probably not going to work."
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