September 24, 2020

BY STEPH SMITH

Conestoga College students had the opportunity to receive a glimpse into their future in the Sanctuary on Jan. 23.

International clairvoyant Kristina Hope Ray gave eager and anxious students alike free individual tarot card readings. The line for this unique event grew as word got around that there was a fortune teller on campus. I arrived at noon, just as it was starting and already there were about 10 people in line. By the time it was my turn to get a reading, I had waited nearly an hour and a half.

Originally used as playing cards in games involving tricks, similar to those played today, tarot has been around since mid-15th century Europe. The 78-card tarot deck is made up of the major arcana (22 trump cards) and the minor arcana (56 suit cards). Some view tarot as occult, but they are mostly used spiritually and for fortune-telling.

I was excited, as I have a set of cards and normally do readings for myself or other people, so it was a nice change to have a reading done by someone else. However, I don’t claim to be a clairvoyant and just do the readings for fun.

Kristina asked me to think of a question that she could answer for me. It could be anything such as future work and career, money, love, family, friends, relationships and so on.

She told me to think of the question, without asking her it, keeping it in my mind while she read the tarot cards.

She first asked me if I was in my second year of college and if it was my last year, to which I replied that it was. This is sort of a general question, as most programs offered at Conestoga College are two years in length, so I was not surprised that she got that right.

“I feel from your cards that you’re very smart, you’re intelligent, do you believe so?” This was nice to hear, but it wasn’t something I didn’t already know or think. It was another general question that I would, of course, answer yes to. It was still nice to have my intelligence acknowledged.

“I’m hoping that you’re doing something really, really good that’s going to bring you good money.”

I smiled a little bit at this remark. Journalism, like most careers today, is a very competitive industry. You have to be good at your craft to make a decent amount of money. It’s one of those careers where you can get thrown to the wolves to learn how to thrive. It’s exciting. It’s hard work. And can be very rewarding.

According to a 2006 statistic from the Professional Writers Association of Canada, freelance incomes, which have historically been low, are shrinking. Just to give a bit of a perspective on what a journalist makes, as many start out as freelancers or contributors to a publication, the average yearly income, among the 858 freelance writers that PWAC surveyed, was just over $24,000 before tax.

“I see money, career, smart. I see sort of management level, moving up in the world, getting up there in life. I think you’re going to do really, really well. It’s not going to happen right away, obviously, it’s going to take a few years.”

Boom. There’s my question. I wanted to know about money and career. How did she know? I figure it was a likely chance that she would have something to say about this right away because it’s one of those questions that a lot of people have on their minds, especially in today’s economy. Plus, she’s at a college with a lot of people graduating soon, so it’s pretty much a given.

“I don’t know if you’re planning any work this summer, but I see work in, like, May or June.”

Hopefully this is a good omen. I would hope that I can find work this summer in journalism, or work in general as my contract at the factory I’m currently employed at runs out once I’m not a student anymore, so this is something to consider. I like the positivity.

She also saw a vacation on my horizon … But toward the end of summer. I was surprised because my family is planning a vacation for the end of March, not something in the summer. However, she did cover all her bases by saying it will be either overseas or to a cottage …
“Do you have a little bit of a stubborn streak to you?”

I do, but I’ve also been told that I give off this air of intimidation. But I think she was maybe on to my skepticism.

“This is a good thing, actually. It gives you determination, that strength and confidence. You seem like a really nice girl and I’ve only just met you. It gives you a little bit of a backbone, people know not to step on your toes.”

Kristina then asked me to tell her my question, as well as what I’m taking in school. She commented on how money and career were the first thing she talked about during my reading.

“Journalism? Hey, you ask any one of those people on TV that are journalists and travel, I’m sure they’re making a lot of money. I see you maybe going in that direction, being on TV. You’re a very pretty girl. I think it’s great and you’re going to do very well.”

It was nice to receive such votes of confidence from a complete stranger, but I couldn’t help but be a little skeptical. While she was nice enough, I felt that everything she said was completely predictable, seeing as she was in a college full of people who are hopeful for money and careers. It is also to be assumed that most students would have a summer job, or be looking to get one, especially in May or June because we’re done school by the end of April.

Overall the reading was an interesting experience but I don’t know if it was worth the long wait. However, I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for it.

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