Let me explain…
“Sat only, Onehunga Bowling Club, A Day of Psychics, 10am to 4pm, Entry $5 includes all Psychic demonstrations and workshops.”
Five bucks for an entire day? The price was right. I hadn’t been to Onehunga for many a moon and certainly never by public transport. There was only one teeny problem though; the idea of both psychics and public transport put untold fear into me. Combined, they were a toxic combination.
When I was younger I caught the bus to school every day in the city. I was quite young, and somehow, probably after hours of commuter bored, became convinced that there was a high probability that someone was on not only of their way to work –they were reading our minds. Yes folks, psychics on the bus! Whether it was into the grubby thoughts of the man standing and looking down the shirt of the seated receptionist, or the mental shopping list of the matron up front, someone was tuning in. At some point the paranoia got to me and I went through a phase of screaming inside my head whenever I travelled somewhere, just to let them know I was on to them.
I must have been quite vocal about this quirk, because as soon as I mentioned the possibility of catching a bus to psychic fair to my mother, she sighed, patted me on the head and asked “Remember when?”
Of course, my own neuroses mixed with a hall full of kooks out to make a sale sounded like a situation ripe for drama. I wanted to feel the fear and do it anyway. Pondering the possibility of having to deal with any striking psychic predictions of my impending death all alone (hey, we’re all facing death); I recruited my flat mate Alex and her boyfriend Wayde to accompany me.
A bus ride
We caught the 304 bus from the city centre to Onehunga $4.40. While Alex and Wayde chatted in a seat behind me, I surveyed my fellow travelers, keeping an eye out for any likely transcendental suspects.
An elderly woman in a parrot-green ribbed cardigan, her earlobes stretched down by heavy gold crosses, her eyes floating somewhere inside huge, thick, black frames. A couple of lads who looked like rugby players, taking up two seats apiece. 1.5 for their track panted backsides, .5 for their duffle bags.
We travelled blandly through suburbia, nothing sticking out as particularly intriguing. Just old houses, new houses, the occasional dairy-drycleaner-hairdresser combo, and the odd school field – all bathed in the charming autumn sunshine. I wasn’t sure exactly where we were going – all I know of Onehunga directionally is from TV and radio ads.
“Church Street, Onehunga!”
“Neilson Street, smack in the middle of… Onehunga!”
Bleated addresses for panel beaters and discount fashion malls. It seemed to be a benign sort of place, not somewhere to hold a mystic convention. As we got closer to our final destination, a lot more watering holes started appearing through the bus windows. I wondered – was Onehunga the sort of place that turned you to drink out of sheer boredom? It felt like there was another option for our day – a quick and fast one. Perhaps we should just pop into a gaming tavern and piss away twenty bucks on the pokies – the result could be about the same as a psychic reading.
After a tap on the shoulder from my more Auckland savvy companions, the bus trip ended with my mind unsullied as yet. It was a busy morning in Onehunga – families browsed opshops, buskers crooned, the proprietors of Tren-D Fashions welcomed all and sundry. After an inauspicious start – an encounter with an ATM saw my card chewed up and swallowed by the malevolent machine, we spied hand painted coroflute signs for the “Spirit Expo”.
Mind, body, spirit
The trail led us to the decrepit entrance of the Onehunga Bowling Club, an empty parking lot and a handful of elderly women out on the green. Alex started complaining like a bored (twenty) seven-year-old, whining “I want to go bowling.”
She wasn’t really buying this mystic-tourist crap, and had come as a favour. We made our way to the ‘Hall Of Champions’, only semi-prepared for the insights within.
Greeting us at the entrance, holding their hands out for cash it takes to be admitted into the psychic inner sanctum was a mother and child. The child was male, possessed a ginger mullet and rattail combo and was eating what looked to be a sloppy meat pie with yellow pastry. Money was exchanged for an inky red star stamp on my wrist, and a furtive look from the gatekeeper, who probably found me to be as odd in my Chucks and skinny jeans, as I found her in her neon green muumuu.
The first thing we did was browse a stall from Rekkies Oracle, offering Aromatherapy, ‘kama products’, crystals galore, tarot sets, angel cards, and Nag Champa incense piled high. It was an overpowering feast of scents and sparkles. I was enchanted by the Cat People tarot set – a tool that painted a stunning picture of faraway lands trod by mystical archetypes and their feline companions. “Perfect for dreamers…” mused Rekkie. Not wanting to invest my cash just yet, I took my leave and moved on.
Meanwhile Wayde had been investigating a table full of crystals. “Got any space rocks mate?” he asked the seller. Why yes indeed, the man had a whole collection of space artifacts. “They were all pretty cheap – including a bargain $6.00 meteor fragment found in Czechoslovakia twenty years ago. I assumed this meant it had been on sale for 20 + years.”
The man sensed that Wayde was interested, and could benefit from learning more. He volunteered a ‘very casual invitation’ to join a rock club. The man had asserted encouragingly “The best way to learn about rocks is to join a club!”
Crop circle and alien gods
I was attracted to the next stall by a proliferation of candles, posters of intricate crop circles and what appeared to be a window pane. Geoff from Birkenhead was there on a “purely not for profit basis, helping out with the truth”. He was promoting the coming of Maitreya, said to be one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom in the field of Theosophy (I learned later from the piles of brochures that Geoff gave me that Maitreya is also known as the Cosmic Christ).
The window pane was an example of a miracle, manifesting in the previously quiet suburb of Northcote. Geoff eagerly explained: “She called me in the middle of the night to inspect the miracle. It was in the lady’s bathroom. When you looked through the window beforehand, with a light source like a street light behind it, the pattern was just square, as you’d imagine it to be. After the moment, a cross of light appeared!”
I nodded dumbly, trying to remember the last time I peered at my bathroom window with such intensity.
“We reported the miracle, and I took samples.” He grabbed a manila envelope from somewhere beneath this table cloth shroud, yanked out a small rolled cloth and unwrapped it. He held two pieces of glass in his hand. “Here they are.” He said. Two samples, one taken from a normal bathroom window, the other is taken from the changed glass.”
“But what does it mean?” I asked.
“It’s a sign of Christ!” Geoff sighed, and offered me a handful of photographs. They were variously, a surgeon appearing to be cutting with a Jesus figure at his shoulder, a kid in Tokyo with a light leak over his face and a transmogrified moggy. These, according to Geoff, were other signs of God, appearing willy nilly in people’s 35mm negatives, just to remind them he was there. I chose a particularly striking image – a ‘weeping’ Mary, picked up the stack of brochure he had given me on next year’s planned coming of Maitreya, thanked him and slowly walked away.
Clairvoyance at 12.30
Still pondering Geoff, we headed behind the screen to partake in the free clairvoyance session at 12.30. I sat close to the window, and admired the orange curtains and the crop circles of the carpet. It was a glorious autumn day, the world outside as orange as the hall – punctuated by the bright whites of the bowlers, who were politely ignoring the crazies taking over their clubrooms. I was feeling okay about the future, having not yet run into any mind readers.
The attendees at the workshop were mostly on the grey end of the spectrum, veneered with hairspray and beige foundations. At the front of the room an older Maori lady exclaimed “Look, I’ve seen the film. I’m not interested in disaster,” and instead requested information on the consciousness of 2012. Maybe you need more things to grasp on to as you age.
I noticed an abundance of pink in the room, the same shade as all the office towers in Shanghai. It’s meant to be soothing colour, but it makes me think of screaming babies and other such traumatic things. The woman in front of me was a fine example – a shell pink cardigan, amethyst earrings, brown and pink coloured sneakers. As I was writing down notes on her fantastic outfit, she turned around and glared at me in a discriminating manner. Was she reading my mind? I blasted a quick internal scream, as a sort of mental pepper spray.
Zeb was an older gentleman, balding and maybe in his mid-fifties. He reminded me of my ex-boyfriends Dad, trying to be down with the kids in a purple Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts. He was running late on time and had managed to not foresee the change in schedule that saw him doing the session an hour earlier than planned. He thought the best course of action would be to do a quick Q&A, psychic style.
Zeb’s method of working was to tune into spirit guides. They could be animals or people “But not your dead relatives.” He explained that you can easily find out your own guide, by asking 3 nights in a row, just before you go to sleep, for your guide to reveal themselves in your dream. “Most people are stingrays or horses” he announced as a matter of fact.
The concept of being able to conjure up your guides reminded me of a failed clown making animal balloons at a party, you can conjure them up. “Here I made you a snake! A boring tube of rubber” said Wayde.
Moving on, Zeb asked for people to ask questions. I summoned courage, compiled a silly question and shunted my hand in the air. Zeb turned to me, I sucked in a lungful of air and blurted out my question.
“Am I on the right path? My work and my study do mirror each other but… but I’m a bit uncertain. Do my spirit guides have any advice?”
Vague? Yes. Doubting? Yes, and a bit too shy to ask Zeb to predict me an A+ grade or two. It was all he needed though – he took my economic question and maxed out the mileage.
“Your body is not your body. Your will is not your will but you can make it so by be-leive-ing in yourself young lady! Believe! For example when you were planting your crops you poured a lot of love and effort into it, but by doubting yourself at the last moment you ended up getting mouldy potatoes, when you were expecting tomatoes and corn.
Do you understand?”
“Y-e-” He wasn’t asking me if I understood.
“You’ve picked up your bow, set the mark, and shot the arrow. It’s up to you! You’re eighty – twenty. It’s about balance. Like a tiger!”
Nope. I didn’t get any of that. At least it was free.
After the insightful Q&A, the aura photography booth took my fancy. Imagine it now, this article illustrated with a full colour image of my glorious aura and my smiling face. Alas, despite waiting over 15 minutes, my aura was downright invisible to the couple manning the booth.
By this stage Alex was done, choosing to woefully sit in the plastic chairs by the hall’s kitchen, dejectedly eating a microwave blasted pie and sipping tea. Her hangover was emerging as another character in our journey. I had to find something else and fast. Was a tarot reading on the cards?
Thankfully Wayde came to the rescue; bounding over and murmuring about ‘body talk’. He dragged me over to investigate the strange tapping that was happening in a corner of the hall. That’s where I met a lovely lady called Fran. Fran was not a psychic, but a Body Talk practitioner. Body Talk is a therapy that works on the premise the body’s energy systems to be re-synchronized so that they can operate as nature intended. Each cell and atom is meant to be in constant communication with each other at all times; and reconnecting these lines of communication then enables the body’s mechanisms to function at ‘optimal levels’.
After a brief chat, price negotiation and signing away of rights, I slipped off my canvas shoes and perched on the table, sectioned off from the rest of the hall by strategically places sheets. Through one of the barriers I could see the bowling club members lurking and having a brew in in the club bar. As I was wearing a dress, Fran gave me a fuzzy purple Nepalese wool blanket placed to protect my modesty. Little did I know my modesty would soon evaporate.
We started off by first identifying the weak energy circuits that existed within my body. Well, Fran did, by holding my right hand and gently massaging it, all the while asking my body questions. My mind wasn’t too involved in this process.
“Hear that noise?” Fran whispered. It was the moan of a Tibetan singing bowl. “Concentrate on it! I’m going to tap it in!”
She did so, tapping my sternum, my forehead and my arms. It wasn’t unpleasant, just strange, and reminiscent of a Thai massage technique. The results from my body then came in.
“Discernment. This is the message that keeps coming through. You need to discern.” Fran said. “I think now we should measure your body chemistry.” She passed me a cotton bud.
“Now, can you please swab your mouth, get lots of saliva on there, and then place in your navel?”
Can I what? Yes. Put it in my mouth, reach under them hem of my dress and place the sticky little cotton bud in my tummy button. I did as I was asked. “Thank you,” beamed Fran “I’m just going to check that everything is healthy with your body, the other part was your mental state. The umbilical cord is where we started connecting with the world, so that’s why we connect back there.”
More communing with my physical self and gentle rubbing of my fingers ensued. All of a sudden Fran stopped. “Do you have any food allergies you’re aware of?” she asked. The only thing I could think of was a dairy intolerance.
“I think it’s something deeper than that,” mused Fran “You have to be aware that a milk allergy may just be symbolic.”
“Symbolic, I feel it could be representing something like mother’s milk. Do you and your mother have any issues? No? Okay then, well perhaps the problem is with your own breasts.”
It was hard for Fran to explain this, and I didn’t really want to hear it, but my breasts were somewhat embarrassed of me and wanted other things. She likened it to a data entry operator being hired to enter data, but then wandering off to help out in the marketing department. The drone needed to stick to what it knew best, as did my breasts. We tapped it out, but Fran said they were sticking to their uppity position. She had no suggestions as to what I could say to sway them, but suggested a workshop in two weeks could very much help us out. At this stage, I had moved beyond a mild fear of psychics, and into a new territory – a distrust of natural therapies.
What was there to do? I thanked Fran profusely and dashed away to find Alex and Wayde. They were outside in the sunshine watching the slow rolling of the bowls. “I’m done” I said, and turned to walk across the car park. The cotton bud exited my navel, bouncing gently on the asphalt in front of me. I crushed it with my shoe.