Angel Reading



Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Angel Reading
Photo by Jonas Bengtsson

I had seen psychics in the past, but I was watching my budget. I needed some guidance but my usual clairvoyant’s fee of $150 was too steep. So when Mia suggested an angel reading at $40, it was just the check-in I could afford.

Mia was an early adopter of different healing modalities. She’d vet the experience first, report back, and then I would give it a go. If I had been a despotic queen, Mia would be my royal food taster to make sure there was no poison in the meal.

“Angels are always watching and protecting,” Mia assured me.

Angel Reading

I typed the words into google, not knowing what to expect.

A universe of 26,500,000 hits came up! “Have I been missing out on something here?” I said aloud.

Doreen Virtue was the expert in the field. Her “Angel Therapy” website sold books and cards, connected to her radio program, and linked to a registration form for International Angel Day. From what I could tell, Virtue’s reputation was stellar. Or at least she had a huge following.

Virtue gave out an “angel therapy practitioner” certificate at weekend workshops. I wasn’t sure what that meant but the air of academia made it sound more legit. That must be the equivalent of the Six Sigma Black Belt people tacked to the end of their business credentials. Something prestigious, but mysterious at the same time.

Besides, I was curious. It must be cool to see angels. Like in the Bible, are people afraid when someone appears? Imagine if Mary screamed and ran out of the room when the Angel Gabriel told her that she’d be Jesus’ mother? There would be no New Testament. Civilizations wouldn’t exist.

Angels must be benevolent. And I thought about Clarence, the angel from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Clarence was a little inept but finally got the message across to Jimmy Stewart’s George that if he offed himself, George’s lifetime of good deeds wouldn’t have occurred. Who would save George’s kid brother? Who would marry Mary? In the end, George’s life mattered and that touched me every Christmas.

And then I just decided to go, because I realized I should just do it rather than obsess over reasons why or why not. Mia gave me the contact information of the woman she consulted.

On the day of the appointment, I went to the second floor café of the East West bookstore near NYU. The first floor of the store sold books, audios, calendars, yoga mats, crystals, and all things New-Age. Everyone who worked there gave off the energy that they lived the lifestyle and had for a long time. No wonder the store has been a mainstay of the self-help community in New York for more than twenty years.

The café itself was bright and white, smelled of patchouli, and offered an array of tasty organic snacks. The absurdly healthy looking store clerk suggested I try the iced tea because “it was guaranteed to open up the heart chakras.” But I wasn’t so sure the drink would work.

I had arrived a bit early to assess the scene. The angel reader had a makeshift office behind some potted palm trees. I tried to eavesdrop on the conversation, but only heard muffled voices. I moved away from the plants to give the angel reader, her client and the angels some privacy.

The only other person in the waiting area for the divine was a woman with jet-black died hair, probably henna, something natural. Perhaps 50? Or 60? I wasn’t sure because her face was turned away at first, but her hands were vein-y and wrinkled. Her fingers were sausage-like, swollen and misshapen. I tried not to stare.

Right on time, Frances Smith, came from behind the trees and called out my name. As I passed the elderly woman, I realized she had a lazy eye. She gave me a hard look with her good one. I jumped a little.

Frances’ business card described her as an “intuitive healer” and “angel therapist.” She motioned me to sit down. I had fantasized that my conduit to the angels would look ethereal and a bit like the old-school rock chick Stevie Nicks with windblown blond hair, pale skin, and dressed in a flowing gauzy dress. Instead she resembled Cindy Brady. But not Cindy the child actress with the pigtails and braces from the 60s, but the adult actress of the 80s who starred in the in the Brady Bunch reunion movies. She was attractive, blond with a matronly face. And she wore business casual work attire, like this wasn’t her regular job but how she supplemented her day gig as a bookkeeper.

A little hesitant, I asked her, “Have you been certified by Doreen Virtue?”

“As a matter of fact, yes. Do you know her work?” Cindy replied.

“Nope, just heard she’s the best. Training with her is like going to Harvard. Is that right?” I queried.

“I wouldn’t put it like that. Shall we start? We only have 20 minutes,” Cindy she was all business. “That’ll be forty dollars,” Cindy said extending her palm. Apparently, the angels had a schedule.

To begin, Cindy asked, “Where do you need help?”

“Career,” I replied.

“Okay. My role is to interpret signs the angels show, like repetitive number sequences, found objects, or tunes hummed. I can’t predict the future. I can validate an answer a person may be struggling to resolve. I won’t tell you anything negative. Remember, the angels are always communicating to you. Sometimes it takes another person to relay the messages.” Cindy told me.

From what Cindy described, I had this image that the angels were just hanging around her. She sounded sincere. If she had a regular time slot at the bookstore, then she must be good.

“What if you don’t see anything?” I prodded.

“I always see or hear something. Sometimes the angels won’t answer a specific question because they don’t want to respond at that time. If I don’t get an answer, I’ll tell you.” Cindy replied. My expression must have turned to a frown, because Cindy reassured, “It’s not a good or bad thing. The angels just don’t think it’s an important enough question to answer. It is very rare that I don’t connect with someone.” I didn’t want the angels to be capricious. If I paid my $40 shouldn’t there me some illumination?

Still, to me, Cindy’s explanation sounded like a disclaimer. It was wrong of me to test Cindy’s credibility. But I couldn’t help myself. And Cindy didn’t do a good job of confidence building. Didn’t my angels tell Cindy that I’m a skeptic?

“Can I take notes?” I asked.

“Of course, let’s begin. There is a lot to do in our twenty minutes.” Cindy was stickler for the schedule. At least she’s a good value, I thought, before the reading began. I noticed that Cindy, unlike other healers, didn’t start out with a blessing or a breathing exercise. Despite the setting, there was no airy-fairy feeling about the interaction. It was a business transaction.

As Cindy spoke, I wondered if the angels nearby could overhear my thoughts.

“The Archangel Gabriel is very strong around you.”

Gabriel? Is he everyone’s angel? Whoa, that’s an important one. Or is Gabriel really Gabrielle? I should look that up.

“You need to focus on your writing. Schedule it in every day.”

Ok, hello angels don’t you see me writing in my journal all the time?

“Calm your mind. Ground it. Meditate.”

Check. I listen to that Buddhist chanting disk. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I can’t sit in total silence, it makes me sleepy.

“Figure out ways to release your energy. Do you draw? Do you dance?”

Remember that ballet class? It made me so neurotic to look at myself while I exercise. My arms are too long.

“Trust the writing. That’s a big concern for you. Trust it.”

Hmm. Maybe I jinxed myself by questioning her abilities. Ok, calm down. She hasn’t said anything bad.

At the fifteen-minute mark, Cindy shuffled the oracle deck, similar to a tarot card deck but with images of different oracles. She dealt out four cards. The cards were illustrated with fairies, goddesses, angels and other spirit guides. She flipped over each card slowly and deliberately announced their import. At last, we were getting to the important stuff.

The first card, “Ask for what you want”

Is this a trick question?

The second suggested, “Have more fun.”

Easily done.

The third instructed me to “notice a shift in something this summer.”

What does that mean?

And the last was a reiteration of Cindy’s earlier advice, “Trust yourself.”

Didn’t you say that already?

Trusting myself I wondered what was the point of this experience. Nothing Cindy mentioned was very inspiring. Maybe the angels were holding back a response? Because Gabriel was basically telling me to keep on keeping on. I was waiting for an external transcendental moment, but it did not arrive. Did I really expect inspiration to come from angels?

Well, at the very least, I got a good story. Thanks Gabriel.

A lot of people offer advice for a variety of fees. Angel readers, clairvoyants, mediums, and psychics may provide comfort for some. But next time I’ll use my $40 to treat a friend to a drink, a real-life angel who can give me the support I need. I just need to trust myself. Maybe Cindy Brady knew something after all.

Amelia Blanquera is a freelance writer and lawyer. She is a community contributor to the NY Times Local blog and writes regularly for spirituality/creativity site, which will release its first book this fall.

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§ One Response to “Angel Reading”

  • SolAngel says:

    I’ve always believed we each have guardian angels, but this is the first I’ve heard of Angel Readings! Thank you for sharing your experience. I have to say I’ve also paid for the occasional psychic reading, palm reading, tarot card reading, and a couple of other fortune telling activities, but I’m always left with more questions or insecurities afterward. In the end, I’ve come to your same conclusion – trust your gut. You can’t go wrong in life if you are honest with yourself and follow your own truth. Thanks again!

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