I love love just as much as, maybe more than, the next heartsick gal, but the trope of red hearts can get tiresome. Also tiresome: the anti-valentine’s shtick (you’re lying to yourself and we all know it!).
Solution: Dark Love, an evening of loving love and admitting the darkness that can often accompany it.
In addition to dark-love themed art (example: Meghan Ralston’s real-life-looking knit heart that has strings you can pull until it falls apart… life! art! imitating!), there will be live music, dance performances, live art making (including that by one of my favorites, W. Ralph Walters) and… fortune telling! Huzzah! That’s a fun date idea. Or perhaps a terrible one?
Regardless, the fortune teller on hand at the Dark Art show will be Meag The Happy Medium, a sweet lady who regularly gives readings at The Magical Druid in Clintonville. Catch up on some of what goes into her work below and get a reading tomorrow. See you then.
7-11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14
Strongwater Food and Spirits/ 400 West Rich
What is a medium? How would you define the work you do?
Technically, a medium is a title for someone of the Spiritualist movement, which was a religious movement that flourished between the 1840s through the 1920s, but still carries on to this day. Spiritualists believe in communication with the dead, usually through seances.
That being said, I am neither a Spiritualist, nor do I communicate with peoples’ dead relatives as a part of my profession. I’m a fortune teller and spiritual counselor, in general.
Why designate yourself as the Happy Medium?
The name began as a joke back in college, when my cousin and I were living together. She was the more talented fortune teller in those days, and I teased her that she should call herself the “Happy Medium” as a reference to the idiomatic expression meaning the halfway point between two extremes. Not too hot, not too cold, but rather just right.
When she didn’t choose to use the name, I took it for myself, originally to use as a part of a pen name for a comedy blog. The blog lasted for about a dozen articles before the jokes petered out, and the questions took a decided turn for the serious. People seemed to really accept the answers I was giving them, and I thought it might be time for me to give their questions more weight.
How did you get involved with this line of work?
This time around, I contacted the owner of a local art gallery named “Also Goods” in Clintonville after she advertised needing fortune tellers for a weekend shift. I lived just down the street from them, and throughout 2011 I would do readings among some amazing local art.
Overall though, I started learning to read tarot cards when I was really young. As a kid, it was sort of a parlor trick I could do that amused my Grandma and her friends. I’ve picked up a myriad of fortune telling skills over a lifetime, from reading tea leaves, to the spots on dice, to crystal balls and candles. I enjoy finding patterns throughout the world that help me navigate my way and help others find their path.
What appeals to you about doing this kind of work?
I love being able to give people that confidence boost. I’m a great listener, and I love to hear others tell me about themselves. I enjoy reading for regular clients of course, but reading for total strangers is my favorite. I’ll get done with a reading where I’ve told them all about themselves, and they will say something like, “Aw, but I knew all that already!” at which point I get to reply with my favorite answer, “Yeah, but I didn’t!” I get to be independent confirmation from the Universe.
What are the challenges of being a medium?
Giving bad news. Sometimes, there are indications of what I might call “clouds on the horizon.” I can usually give a fair estimate (give or take) of about when it looks like an event might happen. But it’s never pleasant or easy news to break. I try to frame situations in terms of Opportunities and Challenges as often as I can, but sometimes there are clear indicators that I would be remiss if I ignored or omitted. That’s part of the job though, giving people a heads-up if I have an idea that they need to prepare for something.
I imagine being a medium is like any other craft… you grow with it the longer you are involved with it. Is your work or approach to the work any different than it was five years ago?
My approach hasn’t changed much over the years, except that as I get older the more comfortable I get with having a reputation for being a fortune teller. I do it both as entertainment and as guidance, which is as I’ve always considered it. I’m probably more careful about emphasizing to clients that my advice does not replace the advice of a licensed professional, be they legal, medical, or whatever. I don’t mind being a sounding board, friend, or counselor, but part of my “prescriptions” can absolutely include instructions to get additional help.
Do you yourself go see a medium or ever read your own cards? Is that possible?
That all depends on the reader! I actually have a cute little app on my phone that I use to pull my daily card, and it’s surprisingly apt on most days. If I have a specific question on my mind, or really feel the need for impartial guidance, I sometimes ask friends who also read to pull a card for me, or I go to another reader for a full spread. It’s never so much about what tool is used in fortune telling, but about the perspective that someone else can provide.
Do you have to go into a certain mindset to do the fortune telling or does having this ability interfere with your daily life at all? For example, are you at your day job and see something about someone, clouds on the horizon perhaps, and have to keep it to yourself?
I don’t often bring up my fortune telling at my day job. I find that life is easier if I keep the two separate in general. But the skill of finding patterns and identifying trends isn’t anything that I can “turn off” either. I try not to focus on individual people in those terms if I’m not being asked for help – nobody likes a buttinski – rather I try to focus on patterns that I can identify in a larger business sense, in a way that applies to the job I’m doing.
Kind of on that note, does this ability affect your personal relationships, for better or worse?
I try to use the “soft skills” that I employ with clients with the people in my life as much as possible. Active listening, being emotionally supportive, honest when asked for my opinion, those are all things that I make sure to do when I’m reading for someone. I feel that my personal relationships deserve at least as much effort as I can afford to provide for clients and strangers I meet at events. In that way, I feel like it helps my relationships and informs how I approach conflict within my own life.
As for having those moments of insight about the people in my life, it depends on what sort of inkling I’ve gotten. If someone I love has asked for a reading, of course I give them my best, but it’s not something I try to do often. It’s far more emotionally taxing on both them and I, usually because of our lack of objectivity in a situation. It really can be hard to see the forest for the trees.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
Sybil Leek, the famous UK witch and goddaughter of Aleister Crowley, Amanda Palmer the artist/musician, and Tim Curry the actor. Because doesn’t that just sound like fun? 😉