Thursday, January 04, 2007

Interview With A Psychic, Part 1

One of my graduate projects was to interview or research some form of folk religion. I had never before gone to a person professing to be a psychic or spoken with one (at least, as far as I knew since I'm not psychic). This was a chance to talk to someone that honestly believes that they have some power to see things that other people cannot see.

In a future post I will talk about some of the lessons that I learned from this interview. But in this post, I'll just give you the transcript and get your impressions. Disclaimer: I do not endorse going to see Diane Miller or any other psychic, nor do I claim to believe everything that she said - it is just an interview!

I called Diane and asked her if she could provide an interview for a school project. In her deep raspy voice, she said "Come over at 2:00p." I wasn't sure what to expect, but it sure wasn't what I actually saw: statues of Mary all over the front lawn and porch. She let me in her front door and I watched cartoons with a grandkid while she finished her session with another lady.

Transcript of interview on June 16, 2005, with Diane Miller, fortune teller, 1925 Butternut Street, Abilene, Texas 79602, 325-672-0115.

DM What is this for, school or what?
JV Yes, ma’am, this is for my school. I am doing a research paper on different religions and on different ways that people view spirituality and the spiritual world.
DM Oh, OK. [pause while she answers the phone] Sorry, that was my granddaughter.
JV What do you feel your gifts are?
DM My gift, what I do, I believe that God gave them to me. You see, I’m Catholic. Some of my kids are Christian. I don’t have anything against that because we are all Christian, no matter what, Ok? So what I do, I think this is what God gave me to help people and to guide them in the future.
JV Wonderful. How does your gift work?
DM I read the palms and I read the Tarots.
JV Ok. How can you read the future through the palms and the Tarots?
DM It shows! It shows in the lines in your palms. Like in these lines here [motions toward the palm of her right hand], that is where the future is, right in there. But you have to read both palms to really let them know what this palm says and what’s the next thing in there. So that’s what it is.
JV Wonderful. Do you believe it’s a special gift for you or that anyone can do it?
DM Yeah. Well, there is a lot of people, I’ll be honest with you, there’s a lot of people they do it for money, they swindle people out of money, and all that, like the ones on the psychic lines and all that. The first thing, you can’t read for nobody over the phone. There’s no way you can do it. Those people have to be present in front of you for you to hold their hands, then you can read for them. So that’s what I’m talking about.
JV Ok. Where do your readings come from? I know some people say they read gifts through contacts with spiritual beings. Is yours just a gift?
DM Just a gift. I don’t contact dead ones or anything like that. No.
JV Ok. How does that work? Is God the one who makes it work?
DM Yes.
JV God imprints the future in the palms and the cards. He’s the one that makes the cards work?
DM Yes.
JV And the cards, how do the cards work?
DM Ok. Here’s the deal. When I was a little girl I knew I had something, Ok? And I asked my Grandma what was going on with me and she told me that gift that I’m getting from heaven, from God, Ok, but for me to use it in good, not to use it in bad ways. So when I look at the cards, that’s when I see what the future holds for them.
JV Ok. How do the cards work? How do the cards know?
DM That, you’re gonna have to ask God about that. ‘Cause all I know is I set them on the table and they just open up and just tell me what the people are and what to tell them what their future holds.
JV You just do it and somehow it works and you’re not sure how.
DM Yeah, exactly.
JV Ok. How do people use this for bad? Are there people out there? I know you’re supposed to use it for good.
DM Good. Yeah.
JV Are there ways you could use it for bad? Are there people out there using a similar gift in bad ways?
DM Yeah. I don’t, ok, but there is a lot that do.
JV Ok. And then how do you feel about what happens people die?
DM Now that you brought that up that’s another thing a lot of people is scared to come to a fortune teller; that’s the way I’m gonna put it, Ok? They’re afraid to come to a fortune teller and to have their palms read or the cards ‘cause you might tell them when they’re gonna die or something. But the cards never tell them when they’re gonna die, but if somebody did pass away already the cards or the palms will tell them that they lost somebody in their family. Yeah.
JV What are the most common things people come to ask you about?
DM Jobs, love affairs, money, and to get their life on the right track.
JV What do you think is the number one thing they ask about?
DM Mostly love.
JV Mostly love. So it’s mostly everyday type concerns that they’re wondering?
DM Yeah. And each person has a different reading and they’re all not alike. Yeah.
JV Do you think there are other people out there with your gift that are in other religions? Maybe like a Muslim.
DM There are all kinds of people, OK? There is. See, I don’t like to complain on anybody or to condemn anybody. So, for the fact we do have one here in town.
DM We do have one. She’s only been here for maybe before Christmas. She don’t have a sign, she’s running undercover. But she’ll advertise on the radio, she’ll advertise in the paper - she’s in the paper right now. All she does is the money. That’s all. Several people went to her, and she claims she can read the crystals. She charges people $75. When they go in there she don’t read the crystals. All she tells them, “you’re a good person, you’re an honest person.” Out the door you go. She done took their poor money and gone. She claims she can tell you about your love affair and all that and she don’t. I don’t charge that much. I know there are a lot of poor people here. She charges from $75 to $50.
JV Do you think she’s a sham artist?
DM Yeah. She is. One lady came up here to me about a month ago, she went there ‘cause she’s in the paper advertising. And she went there and she ended up charging the women $150 but the woman didn’t have that much. The woman came to me and asked me. I told her I can’t help you. I said, “if you want your money back, you either go to the cops or go back to her and ask her for the money.” She got $92 from her. Now the lady tries to call her to get her money back and she won’t answer the phone. See what I mean?
JV Right. Are there places or times when your gift works better than others?
DM No.
JV It just always works no matter what.
DM Yeah, exactly.
JV Have you ever had times when you haven’t been able to see into peoples future or have there been times when it hasn’t worked as well?
DM No. It always works. The only thing is I can’t read minds. Nobody can see my future and I can’t see for my kids either, so that’s the only problem I have. I don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow for me but I can let somebody else know what they’re gonna receive tomorrow.
JV Ok. What kind of things do you tell people.
DM The past, the present, and the future.
JV Ok. Like what would you say, if someone comes in here and asks you for love advice.
DM We gotta read the cards or we gotta read the palms.
JV And then you…
DM And then we go ahead from there. Yeah.
JV Okay. And you’ll tell them if it works well or if it’s gonna work out or not or if they should leave that person or not.
DM Exactly. Yes. If they have a future with this person they’ll continue; if not they have to go on with their life. Yeah.
JV Wonderful. That’s pretty much all the questions I have. Do you have anything else to add?
DM Nothing. I’m here 24 hours a day. I am.
JV I really appreciate your time.
DM This house here, I’ve been here 30 years.
JV I’m pretty new. In town since January.
DM Where you from?
JV I’m from Washington DC.
DM I’m not sorry I have seen the whole world. A lot of people think I’m Spanish. I’m not Spanish, I’m Romanian. My parents came from Hungary.
JV Is this a gift that runs in your family?
DM Well, yeah it does. But a lot of times. I only have one daughter that reads. I have five kids. The others don’t have it.
JV Does your daughter still practice?
DM Yeah. She’s in Arkansas.
JV Wonderful. Thank you very much
DM You’re welcome.
JV You’ve been very nice.
DM Exactly.
JV One last question: who taught you to read the Tarot cards?
DM My grandmother.

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