Fortune Tellers: Not for Broke-Asses!


Scare tactics that leave your wallet empty….

I have a confession to make.

The other day I was shopping at Ross on Geary, scrutinizing a $3 wooden hair brush under florescent lights, when this gypsy woman walked by and seriously looked inside of me.

“Your aura is really open right now,” she said with a slight lisp, as she handed me her card. “You ought to come visit me sometime.” I looked into her big, brown manipulative eyes and at her witch-like-get-up.

A bit bewildered, I was immediately interested. “Really?” I asked.

“Oh yes. Are you busy now? Why don’t we have a chat? My name is Maya. My office is just across the street,” she taunted.

“Um, OK,” I replied hesitantly, but continued to follow her long black hair down the escalator, into the rain and across the street into her office.

The infamous neon Psychic Readings sign hung from the window. Two plush chairs sat on either side of a small, round table where she kept her crystal ball. The room was dimly lit and clean. I always wondered what one of these places looked like.

I sat across from her at the table, ready to pay for something. Maya told me she could give me a palm-reading for just $20, and a more extensive tarot-reading for 40$ I chose the tarot. My hands started to sweat. She seemed Indian or Sri Lankan, I didn’t dare to ask, I just listened to what the witch had to tell me.

After she had read all of my cards, she gave me her spiel. She told me that I was surrounded by negative energy. That only she could get rid of that energy. That she would need to pray intensively to her “magical crystals” for six to eight hours until she went into a trance. I had done something horrible in a past life that was interfering with my present life. She would pray all night for me. And when she wasn’t at her “sacred ritual ground” her sister would protect my energy for me, until she could come back and finish the job.

She was pretty convincing. I know it sounds crazy, but sitting there listening to this woman who somehow had an answer to every question – I asked her how much it would cost to get rid of this bad energy. She told me that the crystals she would have to use for my specific case cost $600!!! But that she would do it for me for just $200. My jaw dropped. Seriously???!!! No wonder those places stay in business. $200. Hell no!

She tried to persuade me into giving her the money. There was an ATM across the street. She gave me a small red crystal with a golden elephant on it. She told me that was a free gift from her heart. She said I should meditate with it at night before bed. She told me she was the only one that could help me. She made me uncomfortable. She was damn good at this voodoo shit!

I looked into my wallet. I had $47. I came back to reality. I threw down the $40 on the table and got the hell out of there. She tried to warn me about my fate. Oh Maya, you twisted bruja.

Note to all other broke-asses out there: DO NOT dare go into one of these places, even if you think you are a bad-ass and won’t fall for their lies – they will attempt to suck you dry!

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About the author

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Originally from San Diego, Heidi migrated north to study journalism at SFSU and interned for the SF Bay Guardian writing music stuff. She later embarked on a study-abroad program in both Denmark and Holland, and basically never came home. For six long years, she froze her ass off in Oslo, Norway, pretending to be a viking princess, trying to figure out how to survive in the most expensive city in the world. The other two years were spent frolicking on the beach in Spain - sipping on sangria in between being tossed around Europe working as a stressed-out journalist. Heidi currently works at for a non-profit cultural exchange program, helping others experience life from a different perspective. She is thrilled to be back in SF, magnetizing the obscure, and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do.
  • http://www.facebook.com/fafara06 Randy Pierce

    Wow, I personally never have encountered an alleged psychic that aggressive before. She must’ve been having an off-day and needed the cash bad. I normally do pretty well in these places though, especially after reading stuff by Michael Shermer and James Randi about how they operate.

  • Heidi Smith

    yeah….maybe I was just an easy target…

  • J.

    NOT at All! I totally went Maya and she told me the same thing!  Except I had a disease during that time- stupidity- and I totally made that first crystal payment (A friend had recently one a free crystal reading and said the same things Maya did so I was freaked).  Anyhow, made me broke as a joke for a few months (yes I went back, yes I was still suffering from stupidity)- until I got my head in a better place and bounced.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fafara06 Randy Pierce

    It could’ve happened to anyone.

  • Heidi Smith

    wow! I can’t believe you went to Maya too! I am cracking up right now, J. Thanks for sharing your story…I am glad you are feeling better – or smarter – these day… :)