THE UNKNOWN, PSYCHIC POWERS, 1987
One such representative of the psychic elite is Patricia McLaine of Arlington,
Virginia, just across the Potomac River from the capital city of Washington.
Around four of five times each weekday, McLaine will sit with one of her clients
in the sunny study of her suburban home and lay out the tarot cards that help
guide her readings. She is not, however, always in residence there.
She travels often to serve people in Texas and California. There are still
other clients as far away as Europe, Asia, and Australia, with whom she confers
by telephone if not in person. In all, she estimates that she has as many
as 3,000 clients, most of whom, she says, come in for "a yearly psychic checkup
or a twice-a-year checkup." Her patrons include a number of well-known
individuals, among them actress Shirley MacLaine, whose best-selling book and
popular television movie about her own metaphysical search prompted a boomlet
within the New Age movement. Featured in several books and magazine articles
about psychics, Patricia McLaine is also a popular television talk-show guest.
astrology as well as tarot, she usually gives readings that last for a half hour
or an hour. She charges $65 for the shorter reading, $125 for the longer.
In addition, her more affluent clients might request a master reading, which
lasts several hours. The Master Reading, for which McLaine prepares with
meditation and fasting in order to achieve a properly receptive state of mind,
covers a sitter's past lives and the numerous intricate relationships that may
be affecting the present existence.
think I would have become a psychic if I hadn't started reading Edgar Cayce
books in the 1960s," McLaine says. In those days, she was an aspiring young
playwright working as a secretary at 20th Century Fox movie studio in Los
Angeles. Inspired by what she read of Cayce, she began visiting psychics. After
two of them told her that she herself would eventually become a psychic reader,
she began doing free readings for her friends at the studio. McLaine's career
developed from there.
classifies herself as partly psychic, but "at least 50 percent intuitive."
There is, she says, a big difference. "The intuitive is superior to the psychic," she explains.
"The psychic is receiving a feeling or an impression, and the intuitive level of
knowledge is direct knowledge." A psychic impression is like "looking at
something through a foot of water. You may see it correctly, you may not... or
maybe you get a general impression, but it may not be the absolute." With
intuition, though, one "can't be wrong."
Despite her success, McLaine has misgivings about her
vocation. A serious student of metaphysics for more than twenty years, she began
in 1975 to teach courses on tarot, the Qabalah, and other metaphysical subjects.
She prefers teaching these subjects to being what she calls "an esoteric
psychologist" for her clients. People are inclined to invest too much power in
their psychic advisers, she says, rather than work toward enlightenment on their
own. There's one creative process, and we are
godlets. A Master of Wisdom would not sit down and read your cards for you, or do your planets for you, or give you a reading. He would try to give you principles by which to live in order to enhance your life."
McLaine attributes the modern psychic and spiritual revival to the fact that the so-called Age of Aquarius, which dawned in the 1960s, is just picking up steam in the 1980s. She hails the Aquarian Age, a term that is synonymous with the New Age, as a time of great spiritual awakening and evolution. Nevertheless, she acknowledges that not all psychics are equally talented, nor are they equally honest. "A lot of people in my business," she says, "are downright strange."