Date: 29th November 2018, Copied from my handwritten record.
H lives about thirty minutes drive from me. I went to see her because I’d been looking at the book Photography and Spirt by John Harvey, studying part 1 of the Context and Narrative course and had got to thinking about how I’m going to photograph ‘the unseen’.
In November I felt like I’d had a hiccup in plans I’d made for my life; at least, I thought I had, but I wasn’t sure. I felt uncertain of the future, confused, upset. I needed something, and as I walked out of my house one day in mid-November I found a piece of honesty lying across my path. Honesty doesn’t grow in my garden, but I associate it very strongly with my grandmother as there always seemed to be dried honesty in her home. I took that honesty as a sign from her.
My grandmother, Marie, was a psychic medium. She later converted to a nasty, insidious form of evangelical christianity and would not speak about her experiences of mediumship and healing. But I have memories of when my mother and I lived with my grandparents, and Marie was seeing people for healing in our home.
I have seen a medium once before as part of a group. My first step was to try and find her online. I couldn’t find her, but H came up and so I looked at her site and decided to book as she had great reviews and lived near me.
What follows is as much as I can recall of our conversation which I wrote down the day after my visit.
The first thing H did, after she’d made me tea and got me to sign a form saying this was all for entertainment, was to stare at me. I felt like she was looking at my throat. So I could relax while she did this, she asked me to shuffle some cards. She started telling me about myself (who doesn’t want to hear that?), and the first thing she said was so accurate that I genuinely felt shocked and moved to tears.
I should point out that I was on the lookout for phrases that could be applied to anyone, e.g. People don’t understand how much you care, etc. I am well aware of these, and it wasn’t one of those, it was quite specific.
I drew a card from her pack; it was a lizard which had reference to Dreams and Visions on it – I think it was to pay attention to them.
I then shuffled her Tarot deck and passed the cards to her. I use Tarot myself, and I’d actually done a quick reading a few days before where the main card I’d got was the nine of cups. The first card she pulled out? Nine of cups. I explained my dilemma to her, but the outlook she was getting for my current plan was hugely positive, as was the outlook I had got myself when I had tried a reading at home.
She did some mediumship. This was less reassuring. I felt that much of it could have been applicable to anyone. She kept wanting me to agree with her when she used simple phrases and arguments so obvious that only a Brexiteer would refute them. I’d already mentioned my grandparents and dog were dead. She’d then seen both grandparents and the dog. When I’d seen a medium previously she had used the exact phrases that my grandmother had used, but this time there was nothing like that. I think H sensed my frustration and moved onto another card reading.
The main thing she picked out was that I had feelings of being trapped – this is very true. Any glance at my diaries for the past few years will show that up as a strong theme but I certainly hadn’t mentioned it. There were other issues that came up that rang true for me. But overall she said she saw the mundanities of life – things ticking along as normal, apart from my chosen path which would clearly be successful.
She spent longer talking with me than I’d paid for. She checked several times I was okay before I left, and asked if I had any more questions I wanted to explore. And that was that. As an experience I really enjoyed it, H was a lovely person and very warm and funny. Her card readings were great, but then so are mine. I was really pleased they matched up perfectly on all the issues I’d looked at myself and asked her about.
Do I believe it? I believe Tarot cards work at some level, although I’m not sure how. I’ve had strange experiences myself that I cannot explain. But can someone communicate directly with the dead? I’m not sure. The main thing I’m taking from it for this course is the feel of her house, the aesthetics of it. Clearly, the vibe that is created is not the same as the Victorian spiritualists. I’ll have to decide which, if either, of those aspects to explore visually.