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Getting Into the Spirit of Things: Psychic Fundraiser in Norwich Draws Surprising Crowd

  • Sarah Goobic, of Woodstock, Vt., left, is given a card reading by Stephanie Dasaro, of Londonderry, N.H., during the Annual Spring Spirit Psychic Fair at Tracy Hall in Norwich, Vt., on April 7, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Stephanie Dasaro, of Londonderry, N.H., does a reading from her unicorn oracle deck during the Annual Spring Spirit Psychic Fair at Tracy Hall in Norwich, Vt., on April 7, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • One of the organizers of the Annual Spring Spirit Psychic Fair, Karen Elphick Roy, right, of Thetford, Vt., gives a hug to Sarah Foster, of Wilder, Vt., during the morning events at Tracy Hall in Norwich, Vt., on April 7, 2018. Foster said she was Elphick Roy's sidekick for the event. A long line people were queued for psychic card readings. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Saturday, April 07, 2018

Norwich — Who knew that Twin Staters, some from more than an hour away, would line up by the dozens on a sunny Saturday in spring to pay $20 for a psychic to read their futures, or at least their lives’ general trajectory?

Katherine Kitkowski had an inkling, leaving her Enfield home early to drive to Tracy Hall for the inaugural Spring Spirits Psychic Fair.

“I got here before 10, and still had to wait an hour for my reading,” Kitkowski, who works in merchandising at Home Depot, said about two hours into the event. “Luckily, I appreciated the insights I got.”

Strafford, N.H., resident Julie Emond appreciated watching the line for readings — made up roughly of 20 to 25 women for every man — stretch most of the morning from the main entrance of Tracy Hall to the registration table near the stage, on which all nine psychics were consulting seekers.

Each session meant $20 more toward the 23rd annual Half Moon Sober Festival in southern New Hampshire, a four-day, substance-free gathering for people recovering from addiction and for their families.

“We held one of these fairs in Derry in December, and there were not a lot of people,” said Emond, the festival’s president and an occasional consulter of psychics. “So when I was driving up here from the seacoast in the snowstorm last night, I did not have a good feeling about the turnout we’d get today.

“But then, I’m not a psychic.”

White River Junction resident Paul Hyson is a psychic, for whom the fair was a chance to share in person the kinds of insights he offers through his weekly blog WRJ Tarot Musings.

“I wish it was my day job, but I’m working on that,” said Hyson, who works at the White River Inn and Suites on Ballardvale Drive. “I’ve done some readings at the Main Street Museum, and I do them for friends.”

During one of Hyson’s readings on Saturday, a Valley News reporter shuffled Hyson’s two-decade-old deck of tarot cards, the top 10 of which the psychic reader spread atop a tablecloth of moons and stars.

Turning them over one at a time, Hyson didn’t predict anything specific in the future, but he detected some tension between the reporter’s creative and intellectual sides, between a tendency toward mischief and non-conformity on one side and the need for structure on the other.

The Death card, he reassured the reporter, probably means there’s a transition coming — the end of one phase of life, not necessarily the end, period.

As Grantham residents Steve Looney and Paula Caron were waiting for their appointments, Looney was calculating that the proportion of men to women “has to be less than 5 percent.

“I’m in the corporate world,” Looney said. “If people in the business world heard I was doing this and I recommended it, they’d say, ‘Nah. There’s no way.’ ”

During what they described as their first experience at a psychic fair, Looney, who has been consulting with a psychic mostly by phone for about 20 years, started seeking the guidance because of “marital discord.”

“Is that the way to put it?” he asked Caron, his second wife. “In fact, it was my ex-wife who introduced me to my current psychic. It turned me toward counseling, which helped me through.”

While Looney still talks often with his regular psychic, Caron, who started consulting one at the recommendation of a friend, usually doesn’t call to consult until, “I feel like I’m in transition. I wait till I’m in crisis.”

Among the vendors in Tracy Hall, Norwich resident Carla Kimball was answering questions from a steady stream fairgoers with her mix of “Intuitive Directions” cards, aimed at people and businesses looking for “reflection, problem solving, journaling and daily inspiration.”

Over the last nine years, Kimball has developed a set of seven decks, each with 25 color-coded cards.

The themes include “embody” in red, “create” in orange, “actualize” in yellow, “connect” in green, “express” in blue “discern in indigo and “source” in violet.

After rolling a pair of dice, the user shuffles the decks of the colors that turn up.

If a die turns up red, the top card on theme of “embody” might show pebbles in a stream with the question, “What calms and steadies you?”

Under “source,” one of the cards reveals a picture of a spectral light and the question, “What’s whispering to you?”

“Right now I’m working periodically with individuals,” said Kimball, whose regular job is coaching people on public speaking. “I don’t have a formal practice right now. With this, I wanted to see if the tarot community would respond. There are elements of it, but this is much more accessible.”

Hyson said that not long after arriving in the Upper Valley in 2003, he sensed a growing interest in the psychic forms of guidance and self-awareness. The feeling heightened after he settled in the revitalized White River Junction three years ago.

“I love the energy of the place,” he said. “So much has taken off for me since I moved there.”

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304.