Jackie Pope makes a living telling fortunes. Reporter Emma Whittaker sat down with her to find out what goes on in the world of tarot card reading.
Jackie Pope still hasn't got a "real job".
In 1999 she turned to tarot card reading after a lengthy administration career in the health sector ended under unpleasant circumstances.
"I found out my boss was committing fraud. I went to my big bosses to report it, but I was told it was none of my business and to go away. Eventually I went to the police and reported him.
"I lost my job and I couldn't get another one anywhere, so I thought ‘I'll just do some tarot reading until I get a real job'. I haven't got one yet."
The hobby that became a profession is something the Mt Eden resident has been practicing since she was a teenager.
At 17 Ms Pope returned to the United Kingdom where she was born and met members of her father's family who are Druids. Fortune telling is part of the ancient celtic philosophy.
Her service is now a thriving small business.
As well as seeing clients there are emails to check, more than one website to work on, and a magazine column to put together.
"It's like any corporate job because I've made this into a bit of a brand," she says.
It's got the financial flexibility and the freedom that comes with running her own business, but like any job there are tough days.
"I once had someone's wife visit in the morning and their mistress in the afternoon.
"In the morning I had the wife saying ‘I think my husband is having an affair', and in the afternoon I had the mistress saying ‘do you think he'll leave her for me'.
"I don't take people's surnames because Auckland is a small town and as soon as someone walks out I just let the reading go, but this was just too coincidental."
Ensuring her clients don't become reliant is one of the challenges of the job.
"Some want to come back repeatedly. I have to be very careful about that.
"I could just take any client any time they want, but it's not just about the money.
"A reading should be a motivation, and inspiration, and then a plan. It's frustrating that people don't get on with their lives and take the reading and do something with it," she says.
With over 30 years experience Ms Pope is able to offer a few tips to to people wanting get a reading.
"The reader should never ask you leading questions. They should be telling you things. And you should never pay until the reading is over. I tell people ‘if you're not happy then don't pay'."
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