Throwback to LaLa Land: Lessons in the Mystic



“Close both eyes to see with the other.”


Not yet a month in to the new year and people everywhere are still wondering about what 2018 will bring.  Will I finally land my dream job?  My dream house?  My soulmate?  Intellectually, we all know that crystal balls cannot look into the future, but don’t we still sometimes speculate that there might be some way to discover what’s ahead?  I’m confident that at one point or another, most of us have witnessed predictions that actually did come true.  But as unlikely as it seems to rational people, could a fortune teller possibly predict events in our futures?

Amongst other things, my years-ago life in Los Angeles provided a master class in all things psychic.  Not long after moving south from NoCal, I found myself in a new age-y world where almost everyone around me was dabbling in some kind of spiritual study or metaphysical practice. I made friends who worked for famous healers, nutritionists and yoga masters.  I hung out with actor or musician friends that frequented psychic fortune tellers to help them make decisions. In my new normal, everyone around me was constantly searching for clues to why certain things were (or were not) happening in their lives.  Most of us were free, single and waiting on our next paycheck, our next exciting relationship, or our next big break.

A bag of Runes that Liz gave me

My own first visit to a paid psychic brought me to the kitchen of an older, petite, chain smoking redhead named Annie.  My close friend Liz, who had worked for a prominent healer/psychic set the appointment up, as she sat for readings with Annie on an annual basis. Annie lived in east Venice Beach in a tiny, tidy house on the wrong side of the tracks.  She used regular playing cards to conduct her readings and gave a no-frills interpretation of what she saw in those cards for her clients.  I don’t remember now what she had predicted for me but I was compelled to keep visiting her, mostly because Liz and I were totally obsessed with everything about the mysterious Annie.

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On display at various locations near you

My curiosity about psychic readers grew, so I periodically booked appointments with different professionals, solely on word of mouth recommendations. These readers lived under cover, and were not the type to be found in business locations, or by neon signs advertising their talents. One lady I visited simply looked directly into your eyes to see and foretell your future, without using any other tools.  She told me I would be a successful actress and would later have 2 sons (neither of these things actually happened). Another female psychic required her clients to bring 3 photographs of different people in their lives and foretold the future by studying them. Yet another lady laid out vintage tarot cards after I shuffled them, and intently explained an exciting future that never did come to pass.

A deck of my own vintage Tarot cards

It was all fun and games however until had a reading by Nick, who came very highly recommended. This reading was unusual before I even met him, first because female psychics outnumber the male ones about ten to one (despite the fact that the most famous of all intuitives- Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and John Edwards- are men).  And secondly, he would travel to his client’s homes to do readings instead of having them come to him; definitely not the norm.  Our appointment was on a Saturday at 4pm in my apartment. It felt all so out of the ordinary from the very start that I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

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The world’s most famous psychic, Nostradamus

Nick arrived a few minutes early, and after pleasantries we settled into the sofa in my living room.  I was first struck by his large, almost black almond shaped eyes under thick dark hair, and also by the fact that his powerful personality and energy did not match up with his slight frame and petite size.  He proceeded by holding firmly onto my right hand but did not look at it for the entire duration of the reading. I remember feeling like it was impossible to avoid those huge eyes.  He made several predictions, let go of my hand and suddenly our session was over.

I was living right off the Venice Beach boardwalk at the time, which was generally a safe area by day but could be very sketchy at night.  Nick had predicted that within 2 weeks, there would be a very large drug bust one parallel block directly south of my apartment.  5 days later a SWAT team descended on the neighborhood, and raided that exact spot.  Unexpectedly and a bit unnervingly, Nick’s words sprang true to life.  He also cautioned me during our reading that he felt gunfire very close to me, which at the time I was sure was a preposterous statement. Two weeks later, one evening at home I sat 2 structures east of a drive-by shooting on the Pacific Coast Highway.  I’ll never forget the fear of dropping to the floor of my bedroom to avoid the shots as I heard them being fired from about 30 yards away.  Soon after, I was longing for more of those impotent readings that conjured up fantastic tales but made no impact 🙂

Nick’s spot-on predictions in my apartment were scary enough, but then he made another one a few weeks after mine that caused some serious damage.  I had recommended him of course to Liz- the same friend who arranged my first psychic reading.  The day of her reading I anxiously awaited Liz’s post-session recap. She phoned me crying immediately after he left.  “He said Pat and I will not get married!  He said he is definitely sure of it!! I hate him.  He’s trying to ruin my life!!!” she sobbed.  I hung up the phone and drove directly to her.  She was frantic; Nick had really hit a nerve, which was disturbing because Liz was seasoned in metaphysical experiences and never reacted so strongly to a reading.  Pat and Liz had been together for some time and he had recently asked her to marry him-  the date had not yet been set, but plans were in the works.  What on earth was there to be so worried about?

I managed to calm Liz down, convince her Nick’s prediction wasn’t true and persuade her not to tell Pat.  Telling anyone else would only create unsettling drama around nothing but a mere prediction. Nothing Nick said was based on reality and spreading it around would be dangerous. Besides, it couldn’t possibly come true.  Could it?  Liz argued that he accurately foresaw two events in my life down to specific detail.  I assured her that even so, in this particular case, Nick was certainly wrong.  He had said other things in my own session that were way off the mark. Plus, there was absolutely no indication that her relationship with Pat was on anything but solid ground. Honestly, not a cloud in their sky.

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Liz’s clandestine operation

Eventually, post-Nick life in LaLa Land went back to normal, and Liz received a job assignment in production working on the East Coast for 2 months. About 3 weeks in, she called and asked me to meet her at her duplex.  “What? You’re back home?” I asked.  “Right now, you are the only person who knows it.  Get over here now.” She hung up.  When I arrived, she held up copies of her telephone bills in her hand. They listed several lengthy calls to an unfamiliar number, all suspiciously dated after her job relocation.  Liz had a funny gut feeling that something was up, and secretly flew home unannounced to investigate her hunch.  Long story short, Pat had been having an affair, and even worse, his other girlfriend had gotten pregnant.  And just like that, Liz and Pat did not get married, and Nick’s totally unbelievable prediction came true.

Tarot cards from my Italian reproduction deck

Clearly, my life today is very different.  Thankfully, I am no longer faced with the daily uncertainties I dealt with 20 or more years ago.  I don’t have to put any energy into trying to predict who I’ll be having dinner with on New Year’s Eve, whether I’ll get married or not, or if I’ll ever have children.  I have all those answers now.  These days, I am also less sure than I used to be that psychics could hold keys to our futures. I do wish someone could explain how Nick knew certain things were going to happen; those are experiences I will never forget.  And although I have no idea what 2018 will bring to me or anyone else I know, I’ve gladly landed in a place where I’m in no longer constantly compelled to try to find out.

Lisa Ihnken ©2018 All Rights Reserved


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