Psychics: Mind over matter
Among the many disciplines and talents practiced on Martha's Vineyard, are those that can clear your chakras, explore your past lives, and decipher the mysteries of your tarot cards and astrological chart.
My first stop is with professional psychic Sarah Nevin, who operates a private practice in Edgartown, and who studied chakra and aura reading, contacting spirit guides, and recovering past lives, at University of California Berkeley Psychic Institute. She sits across from me, silent, eyes closed, "gathering information" as she puts it, while I, my feet planted firmly on the floor for a better connection, start fretting over what spiritual baggage she will uncover. Then we begin.
During the course of two hours, she takes me though my different chakras, uncovering current lovers and past lives, which are interesting, although I feel little connection to them: I'm working in a cafeteria after kicking out my alcoholic husband; I'm living in a small village in post-war Europe, caring for an invalid husband, but end up cheating on him with a man who happens to be my father in this life. (That could explain the sometimes-strained relationship my father and I have now.)
Using this information, along with the spirits Ms. Nevin speaks to about me, she explains how I can begin to improve my spiritual self. The experience is revealing, not only because of what she tells me, but also because the questions I ask reveal things I didn't realize bothered me. I promise myself to apply energy to those areas of my life.
At The English Butler Tea Room in Edgartown's Nevin Square you can buy more that just high-quality teas and tea-related trinkets. For $20, Alison David, the shop's proprietor, will to give you a peek into your future. When Ms. David first began tasseography, the practice of reading tea leaves, she was frightened by the degree of the accuracy she was able to achieve.
"I had to stop for a while," Ms. David recalls. "I did readings for about 35 women at a baby shower, and the images were just coming so hard and so fast, and were so spot on, I actually scared myself. I didn't do it again for almost a year.
"Now I have people ask a specific question, which offers some control. People are more comfortable if they know the subject of what I am going to be looking for. If it is a specific question, they know they won't find out more than they want to."
A person asks the question then repeats it as Ms. David prepares the tea leaves, a method that has produced some startling results. "I predicted the birth of a baby to the day, even though it was three weeks premature," she says. "The mother called me from the hospital, which was amazing."