Tarot cards 'tell a story'

TAROT TALES: Reporter Matt Bowen's fortune is read by Kathleena Reid.
Chris Hillock/Fairfax NZ
TAROT TALES: Reporter Matt Bowen's fortune is read by Kathleena Reid.

Outside the fortune teller's house-truck was a woman scribbling intently on a tiny pad with no time to talk: Kathleena Reid was completely focused on the pearls she was holding in her hands.

Some sceptics might say fortune tellers are a have, a money-making con.

Others genuinely believe in it, like Kathleena Reid who was back for the fourth year with the Waihi Gypsy Fair when it rolled into town.

The interesting question is, why?

The first sign of Kathleena was a handwritten blurb stuck beside her truck's front door at the Waihi community centre carpark this Wednesday. "Kia ora" it said. "I read the traditional `Rider Waite' deck and channel from an Indian Guide using a quartz crystal."

It said she could offer guidance into what's happening now and over the next 12 months – all readings totally confidential and R16 – quick readings: $20. Full readings: $40.

Pure, costly quackery, the sceptic says. Kathleena agreed to read a reporter's future but she didn't take eftpos or credit – cash only.

We walked up the steps into her abode.

Inside, she sat across a small clothed table just below her bed and behind the truck's cab. The oversized, grime-rimmed picture cards were shuffled, halved and dealt.

The fortune telling began. She said at one stage I took a new direction and that I came into money, maybe a scholarship.

She saw me dealing with a lot of pressure but I found balance.

She saw contentment and happiness and that someone offered friendship or love to me recently.

She also dealt three cards per month for the coming year.

"You don't have any dark cards in this reading at all," she said. "That's a very positive reading."

Dark cards do pop up, though. Sometimes she'll get a pregnant woman losing her baby; a death in the family; broken marriages; people losing money.

"It all comes up but it doesn't mean I tell them." She self-censors and offers guidance instead – maybe you should see a doctor about your child, that kind of thing. Sometimes the cards are such a jumbled mess they're unreadable.

On those days Kathleena tells people it's an off day and doesn't take their money. She loves the cards though and believes in them totally.

Others believe they're the devil's work. "I get hassled by Christians all the time," she said. "They call me evil and that I'm ruled by the devil – I get it a lot."

As the fortune-telling session wound down, a reason for the woman's earlier note taking emerged.

"I'm basically a counsellor," Kathleena said. "People come to me when they need help, when they're in trouble, and the cards are a tool to get down to the nitty-gritty of what's actually wrong and we go from there.

"I have to have tissues on hand because I'm hitting an emotional nerve."

The tarot cards also shine a light on when the "energies will change".

After half an hour in the mobile home money changed hands.

Kathleena took the $20 note, tucked it away and we walked out.