would you want to “see” into your future, even if it was bad?

Posted on September 25th, 2011

This week in Sunday Life I visit a witch. Yep, a witch.

photo by Carlos Gotay


On long road trips, in the back seat of the family Ford Falcon XB, my five siblings and I played the hypothetical game “how much would you have to be paid to…”. How much would you have to be paid to, say, drink a cup of warm sick? Sit in a pond of leeches for five minutes? Ten minutes?

You know how it went. Before Wii, we all played a version of it. It was deliriously fun and simultaneously flexed our little moral compasses, preparing us for real life.

So, let me put this hypothetical quandary to you: if you could be given a vision of your future, but it could mean learning some seriously dire news, would you sign up?

A while back I learned of a witch who’s reportedly one of the best tarot readers around. The caveat is that she tells it as it is, warts and all. Ly de Angeles is the high priestess of the international Coven of WildWood Gate. She’s been practicing as a witch for 30 years and she once told a young woman, “Looks like there’s a death in the family… No, it’ll be you.” She detailed it was going to be in a plane crash. And so it came to be several years later.

I wavered for a while, and was warned against it, but curiosity pulled me in and on Tuesday I fronted up to her dark basement abode to get slapped with my destiny.

I’ve covered phenomenon before in this column that tends to raise a skeptic’s brow. My take is always this: I’m actively curious and I sometimes choose to believe the “scientifically” unprovable. Or trust a “knowing” that can’t be pointed to in a petri dish. I choose to. It works for me.

Witchcraft, you might think, would push even my woo-woo boundaries. But researching it this week I found it to be one of the least confronting traditions on the esoteric map. In fact, witchcraft, which has been cited as the fastest growing “religion” in Australia, is intrinsically non-confronting. Ly stresses it’s not a religion. There’s no set deity and it doesn’t adhere to notions of right and wrong, instead working to “harmony” and “discord”. It doesn’t acknowledge Satan or heaven and hell and no newt is harmed in the process. It’s essentially an earth-revering tradition that encourages taking responsibility for how we coexist. “We refuse to be defined,” Ly says. Which I think is part of the reason it’s been so ostracized and broiled up with all that troubling poisoned apples and stake burning stuff – it’s not part of witch-y thinking to define or deny or defend.

But back to my future. Ly lay out her tarot cards and, speaking as fast as I think is humanly possible, she relayed to me what I “already know”. This is a tough concept to get in a world where truth is tied to linear time. It requires comprehending the idea that everything “always already” exists, as described by countless philosophers and spiritualists, a discussion of which is beyond the scope of this column.

But no matter. Ly, who doesn’t mince words, doesn’t try to describe how she does what she does. She just “knows” what she sees. And experience has shown it to be so, she says. She picks up on some fairly banal stuff in my life, as well as specific details of a man posing as a women (spot on – a troublemaker on my blog!). Then she describes events set to happen in the next 2-3 years (if I end up in London at a book reading with a Dutch Sagittarian man who studies history and we arrange to go scuba diving, please do remind me of this discussion). She also delivers me a grim prognosis on a health issue and a career direction. My reaction? I’m cool. Strangely the insights don’t surprise me. Did I always already know it? Or do they simply fit with my life patterns?

Everyone I spoke to about my witch encounter asked if I was freaked by it all. Interestingly, it made me amusingly aware of my patterns and how consistently they play out, including into my future. “Are you going to try avert fate?” asked my friend Tim. Nope. That would be like trying to change where the tide rolls in. You might be able to pool it to the left or right a little. But ultimately it will still roll in somewhere. We know this.

I asked Ly to explain how tarot works. She provided this rundown. Anyone wanting to know more, or to learn tarot, her book Tarot Theory and Practice is meant to be rather definitive…

If we take the theory of the Big Bang, or the moment of the speculated “creation of the universe” into account we were there.

…otherwise we would not be here now. Inherent in the DNA of every living thing is the existing memory of all that has preceded it. The iron in our hemoglobin is still the original iron, the hydrogen molecules within our body’s water are still the same hydrogen as is every other element and compound that makes us us. The knowledge has been passed from our biological parents, to them from theirs and so on all the way along the Arrow of Time, even before we were, theoretically, amoeba in a soup of one-celled creatures floating in the viscous seas of infant Earth with no discernable differences to blow-flies or elephants.

We are so conditioned to think that our lives began with our births and will end with our deaths (no matter the belief, or lack of it, in an after-life) that we do life an abysmal injustice. We live in conscious ignorance of our immortality.

So my theory is that when an individual shuffles the cards that represent Tarot they actually unconsciously sort them into effective order – an impossibility to do consciously – that something other than randomness is most definitely involved. This supposed shuffle is akin to an accomplished pianist playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor. He or she certainly does not have to think about what each individual finger is doing or about which note goes where.

After much practice the masterful performance is effortless. Looking at the individual piano keys would make it impossible to play.

Every individual has had at least since the Big Bang to practice.

What’s your take? Are you open because being open makes life better?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Mia

    I’m too curious. I would ALWAYS want to know. I dont know if I would necessarily believe it, and I dont know how helpful it would be given I would probably still trundle about doing the same stuff I always did, but I would always want to hear it! I love your voyages into the woo-woo Sarah.

    I dont know if I believe that you really can tell the future. If you could, then wouldn’t the knowledge of that somehow taint the timeline and cause your future to change? Have I just been watching too much Star Trek?

    All the quantam physics documentaries I have watched seem to think that all possibilities exist, until you choose. The mere act of observing, changes things. I dont know what this means for Tarot readers but I still believe in the possibility of choice.

    That was a fascinating point she made about the Big Bang though… reminds me of Carl Sagan. We are all star stuff, harvesting star light. xx

    [Reply]

  • Sara

    I take tarot/psychic/crystal/aura reading with a grain of salt these days. Years ago I went through a stage (and MANY dollars) to find out what the future held for me. Most responses were the same (“you’re at crossroads in life”, “there is change ahead for you” – DER) but I was willing to believe anything that was said and responses could always be manipulated to fit in with my circumstances.

    These days I trust my intuition and guide my own life. If I’m stuck or needing direction, I’ll talk to a friend or counsellor. I want the future to be a surprise.

    Did anyone watch Lawrence Leung ABCs Unbelievable series in June? One episode in particular ‘Psychics’ says it all.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGjiOaR9ZtA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGjiOaR9ZtA

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    sorry, clip in 2 parts

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh7nhQ9h3Zw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGjiOaR9Zt

    Sarah, how do you know this lady didn’t know you from your blog and base her answers on what she’s read (health issues, future partner..)

    [Reply]

    Amy-Lou Reply:

    Hi Sara,

    A fair question, but I feel compelled to add here that I actually grew up in the same community in which Ly lives, and she’s pretty spot on and straight to the point (Sarah’s point about her not mincing words is very true!), doesn’t suffer fools and I don’t think she’s the sort of person who would bother with such trickery. Plus, she’s been doing what she does for a long long time. If she was practising any kind of thing which could be considered trickery or a sham, I don’t think she’d be held in such high regard.

    She’s a very compelling woman who I think lives very strongly by her beliefs and self-discipline, and on a personal level, I find her quite inspiring!

    - Amy. :)

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Amy, I guess it was the skeptic in me asking that question. But, unfortunately, there are some who use trickery to make money off vulnerable people (aren’t most people who visit psychics/witches vulnerable in a sense?).

    I was particularly amused by those who, after looking for any signs I wore a wedding ring, told me my future husband was this or that or I would meet a man who….. I would always throw it back that, as a person who preferred same sex relationships I found this odd, to which they would quickly reply “oh yes, I knew that but I wasn’t sure if you did”. What, at the age of 40 I didn’t know I was gay? Haha.

    Mia Reply:

    The second link didn’t work but I found part 2 on youtube. Brilliant stuff!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGjiOaR9ZtA

    [Reply]

    Isa Reply:

    Yes Lawrence Leung’s Unbelievable was funny but it also frustrated me – lumping the theatrics of charlatans and spoonbenders and magicians with the more plausible fields of dream precognition, psi, and synchronicities does us all a disservice and is a rather cheap way of getting (admittedly funny) laughs. I was disappointed. I found Judith Lucy’s series a much more honest exploration. Leung also “borrwed” quite heavily from popular sceptic Richard Wiseman, which is funny because he then interviewed him as if he had not just ripped him off … and also Wiseman himself has been discredited recently. The fact of the matter is that psi abilities have been scientifically verified in numerous experiments … just not in a very flash-bang, crystal ball, dramatic kind of way! Telekinesis on an atomic level, remote viewing and other forms of telepathy have repeatedly been demonstrated at levels that are quite low, but statistically significant. An excellent introduction is Chris Carter’s book “Parapsychology and the Skeptics”, but there’s plenty of info on the internet and of course the studies themselves (if you have access to academic databases) to explore.

    Where this leaves professional fortune tellers, mediums and the like, I don’t know … the experiences of friends who’ve visited such people is inconclusive. Some are spot on, others are way off. I’m eager to try for myself. I’m sorry some unscrupulous people appear to have taken advantage of you. But I do think the evidence points to there being something going on.

    [Reply]

  • jan

    Glad you don’t take this stuff too seriously Sarah. If I have something niggling at me and want confirmation, I go and see Cathy at Spellbox in Melbourne. She also works from home in Jan Juc and really is spot on.

    A man posing as a woman? Do you mean he dresses up as a woman or pretends he’s a woman?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    goes under a female name

    [Reply]

  • michele

    So I hope you are giving up this health kick then! Afterall, what’s the point? Seriously?
    You ‘know’ you are going to have health issues in the future, so go for it and stop this healthy lifestyle you have set up for yourself. Why bother? Toooo much hard work.

    Did Louise Hay not teach you *anything*?

    Your thoughts create your future. What do you want yours to be?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Wow!

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    Seriously! You could change this outcome. Think of what Louise taught you and the example of LIFE that she is. Did she leave her destiny to fate or did she do the work required to achieve the abundant life she has now?

    Are you really going to accept a ‘grim health’ outcome? You know you can do better than that!

    Don’t let one persons opinion rule *your* life.

    [Reply]

    Jan Reply:

    Nowhere is Sarah’s article did she mention that she was going to accept the grim prediction. She said she was cool with what was said, but pretty much knew this already. Isn’t the health journey Sarah’s on now a way in which she is controlling her own fate?

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Jan says it well.

  • Alan Donovan

    I would like to comment on your article in the Sun-Herald magazine Sunday 25 September.
    You relate your experiences of a visit to a “witch”, tarot card reader, giving some “insight”
    into possible future directions for your good self.

    I would like to suggest that you would be better following the teachings of God, the Creator,
    as revealed in the Bible. There we are advised that “What does the Lord require of you, but
    to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah chapter 6 verse 8).
    A fulfilling life is possible as a follower of Jesus, as He said, “I am the way, the truth and the
    life. No one comes to the God the Father, but by Me.” (John 14: 6)
    This will prepare us for the ultimate reality when, “It is appointed to man to die once, and
    after that the judgment.” (Hebrews 9: 27)

    Food for thought ?

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Huh?

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    Lol. Each to their own I guess!

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    ???

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    Sarah, when you made an appointment to see Ly, did you tell her your name and that you were seeing her for research purposes? Despite what you and Amy (above) say, Byron Bay is a small community and it wouldn’t be hard to find out information about the locals. Also, I’m sure you would have had to have to have left a mobile contact number? Easy way to check people out.

    If someone said to me that made a move from a city (Sydney) to a coastal area (Byron Bay), the first thing I would think of would be ‘health issues’ and chances are with that would also come a change in ‘career direction’. Finally, if you write a public blog there will always be someone who disagrees with what you say – male or female. Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a troublemaker.

    See, I could have saved you $90!

    [Reply]

  • jo

    If thoughts become things and we are all connected – then why could someone not have developed the insight to be able to “see” the future, witch or not

    Just saying …..

    [Reply]

  • http://oneaprilmorning.net Laura

    I choose not to believe in witchcraft, but I still find it interesting. Particularly, since I don’t believe in psychic ability, how people who practice tarot readings, fortune telling etc get to the heart of things in way that instils people’s confidence in their prophecies. Fascinating!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    which means you’re open!

    [Reply]

  • Claire

    ohhh I can very much relate to this! Over the last two years, I have seen numerous readers all over Australia and the world! I had just come out of a long relationship and was totally lost and directionless in all areas of my life. I have learnt a big lesson and that is to ALWAYS trust your own guidance. According to one reader (who i went to see a number of times) I am to be back up north around Byron, healing the masses with my wonderful husband who is ten years older and owns his own house… uhum my two other girlfriends received very similar readings. I am now however, living in Sydney, falling in love with a city I once turned my back on and learning more about myself and others than I ever thought possible. I guess the learning for me is that in most instances there are alot of people out there who prey on the vulnerable… I have to say though there is still a part of me that wants to believe that there are people who have this gift and I have met many who have had some amazing experiences with readers.

    [Reply]

  • toni

    You sure do get some interesting people reading your blog Sarah…men posing as women, religious zealots and people that are just plain mean. I hope you stay on your quest for good health, inside and out. It truly inspires.

    [Reply]

  • Selena

    Thanks for sharing another interesting post Sarah. When your post popped up early a few weeks back, I was intrigued. My friend and I have booked an appointment with Ly for this coming weekend. I am one who likes to be in the know. So many things in this world are unexplainable and I am open to receiving information from many different sources and mediums. There are many things that have happened in my life that would seem are more than just coincidental; and certainly can’t be explained by logic alone. I believe that some key aspects of our fate can not be averted, but that we can influence our destiny in the way things are played out. I’m looking forward to meeting Ly; and I envision the experience will be fun and thought provoking.

    [Reply]

  • Rachel

    Hey Sarah, thanks for writing about this. Isn’t the word ‘witch’ just so loaded? It’s unfortunate really, as it is a beautiful way of honouring and connecting with the cycles of life and the power of nature. I’m not a witch (not in this lifetime, anyway), but I totally respect the practice. There is so much more to life than what we see in front of us!

    As for Tarot, I use it regularly and have even studied it some – the myth and psychological insight behind the cards is just so rich, not to mention helpful when you need to explore an issue from a ‘different’ perspective.

    Whilst the cards can reveal what is most likely to occur, we are always in control of the outcome, as with anything in life. I wish you all the best with your health challenges. Thanks for sharing it with us. I love that you are exploring many different avenues to find out what’s true for you.
    Rachel.

    [Reply]

  • Stephanie

    You know, I’ve only had my tarot read once, and the reader’s interpretation was surprisingly astute. As I was a tourist in Sydney at the time, I really don’t know how she could have known that I was struggling with a two-pronged career path. I mean, that’s great reading of body language, if that’s all it was. But anyhow…I think I’d do it again, if I had a recommendation for a good reader. As Mia said, I’m curious. And I’m open. Hope your health turns a positive corner soon, Sarah.

    [Reply]

  • Nadia

    Oooh! I like this. I have a friend that reads my tarot once every few months, I find it really inciteful and interesting. I saw a psychic at a ‘Psychic Party’ a year ago and she really helped me. It was kind of therapeutic actually and put some of my worries to rest.
    When you know how things are going to work out, it’s easier to relax and let things be :)

    [Reply]

  • Emily

    I think it’s a bit simplistic for some people to just say that the cards (or other psychic type methods) tell you your future and that’s the end of it. I think they tell you what you need to hear to get the most out of your life.

    [Reply]

  • Ej

    Ly should consider taking the JREF Challenge, to date nobody has won it….

    http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

    [Reply]

    isa Reply:

    Unfortunately, randi’s prize is something of a scam. whatever good he has done is outweighed by the fact that jref arbitrarily chooses who they accept to take the challenge, the million dollars doesn’t even exist, none of the ‘scientific’ protocols are negotiable (in fact, you may say they are tailored for failure), and jref and associated organisation csicop in fact falsified evidence when it became clear that one of their own experiments might support the existence of paranormal phenomena, and discredited their colleague, dennis rawlins, in the process. i’m not surprised no one has won the “prize”!

    [Reply]

    Ej Reply:

    Hey isa,

    Thanks for the follow-up, I’m off to have a read of some of this stuff now. :)

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    I’ve met and interviewed James Randi…AMAZING guy. http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/2010/12/sunday-life-in-which-i-meet-james-randi-magician-awesome-guy-skeptic/
    But v interested to read your comments Isa.

    Ej Reply:

    OK, so I spent a bit of time reading about this stuff yesterday and I’m sorry isa but I don’t buy it. All I could find was hearsay, misquotes, he-said/she-saids and what appears to be a serious case of sour grapes, nothing that credibly verifies what you are saying or seriously raises questions about the ethics of Randi. If you can point me to something credible I’d be more than happy to read it!

    Sarah, great article, I had no idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sara

    Hey there, as another Sara I have known Ly for 25 yrs, and she is like a great red wine. Gets better with age. Her readings are profound, and as her peer, I also do Tarot, her book is fabulous and her methods of readings are tried and tested. I laughed when Sarah said Ly was talking as fast as humanly possible. It’s so true, so much to say. Life is about experiences. It’s about the joy. Science is catching up! Bless

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Science is catching up. True!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.blossom.net.nz Tracy

    When I was at a stage in my life where I felt quite lost, I would go to a spiritual group where they had different speakers, some were physics and tarot readers. I was searching for answers at the time and their messages would give me hope.

    I haven’t been to one for years. I notice when I do think about going, it’s because I’m doubting my ability or not trusting my intuition.

    It could be a bit of fun. You’ve got me quite curious now Sarah!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.shegoes.com.au Emma

    I see a clairvoyant named Gladys who is much the same in terms of ‘telling it like it is’. I much prefer it, to be honest, and the interesting thing is that while Gladys doesn’t remember what she’s told me one year to the next, she’s consistent. Every time I walk in, she says I have polycystic ovaries – lol!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.jansenarchitecture.com.au emile

    As they used to say in ‘Laugh In’ … very interesting!

    When I was doing my Leaving Certificate in 1964 I went to a clairvoyant in Kirribilli who not only told me what subjects I was studying and where I felt weakest, but predicted which subjects I would pass and at what level, and that one would be a surprise as I thought I was no good at it. He also predicted how many times I would marry (4) and how many children I’d have (3). And he was almost 100% correct. The memory has stayed with me all these years.

    Then again in 1982 or 1983 I accompanied some friends to a lady clairvoyant in Bondi (by this time on my third marriage – don’t ask!) who told me that I would marry again and live with a farmer’s daughter by the sea and finally be settled and content. And I did and I do and I am.

    So, whilst knowing there can be no scientific basis for such predictions, and accepting that it is (generally considered) dumb to put much faith in them .. I have to admit my experiences have conditioned me if not to belief, than at least openness to possibility.

    [Reply]

  • Helen

    I’m a bit late on this one. I saw a tarot reader when I was in Dublin about 12 years ago. It was a bit of fun at the time and I didn’t take it all that seriously. But 5 main things I remember he said stayed with me. So far 3 of them have been spot on and I can see numbers 4 and 5 playing out at the moment. I honestly wish I had never seen him, these things may have happened anyway but I would rather have not know they were coming. I also wonder how much I have made them happen by thinking about them. Would I have done things differently without these seeds planted in my mind?

    [Reply]

  • Pingback: a guide to Byron Bay, cos you asked for it | Sarah Wilson

  • Pingback: “happiness comes from living close to our hearts, not at odds with it” | Sarah Wilson

  • Pingback: MONA, QUOLLS, MEDIUMS AND A CANNY WITCH « Josephine Pennicott – Tale Peddler (mysteries, nostalgia, family, writing and Johnny Depp)

  • http://www.constanttrek.com paula

    Just a note on Cathy from the Spellbox – I’d never have got through the last few years without her. So accurate it is amazing – she saw my partner in great detail before I’d ever met him. She is brilliant and really changed the way I thought about card readers. I’d say the same for Greg, previously of the Golden Lamp, in North Melbourne. On the other hand I’ve had some bad readers – notably from Mysteries in Covent Garden, London. Some have it, some don’t – cathy is the real deal.

    [Reply]