A skeptic gets read 

In light of this weekend Celebration of Psyche and Soul events Shelley Arnusch discovers tarot.

I’ve never had much interest in the mystic arts.

I don’t even read my horoscope while I’m at the hair salon. Some syndicated crackpot thinks they know what’s best for me based on my birthday?

Yeah, right.

Chinese astrology always struck me as a bit more intriguing, for the sole reason that the year I was born makes me a tiger – one of the coolest, most attractive and most badass animals in the jungle. Had I been born a rat, then forget it. No offence to all you rats out there.

There’s also the fact that Chinese Zodiac literature usually ambushes me at very vulnerable moments. When you’re that hungry you’ll read anything that’s in front of you. Once the springrolls arrive all interest in the mystic placemat typically dissolves.

For years I’ve disregarded tarot and tea leaves, ESP and palmistry, crystals and clairvoyants with a shrug and a frank "good for them," never considering whether any of it would be "good for me."

Not to confuse disinterest with condemnation. My view of the non-syndicated mystic arts has always lied with the former. My intents were never malicious, just non-existent, until recently.

Learning of the events surrounding this coming weekend’s Celebration of Psyche and Soul in Whistler roused my curiosity, breaking down the wall of disinterest that had long separated me from the world of the séance.

A partnership between Tourism Whistler and the North Vancouver-based West Coast Institute of Mystic Arts, Psyche and Soul is placing local and visiting psychics in a variety of host cafes, restaurants and other retail outlets throughout the village over the long weekend.

In addition to the visible practitioner presence Psyche and Soul features a free workshop and lecture series by various institute teachers running all day Saturday at MY (Millennium) Place. On Sunday at the Farmer’s Market there will be a booth where local dogs can get their paws read by animal spirit communicators.

With the exception of the dog thing ("I see a trip to the vet in your future, this matted piece of fur between your toenails indicates your reproductive organs are at risk...") I decided I could no longer brush this off.

Mystic arts practitioners don’t dwell on the lunatic fringe. They’re an integral part of this and pretty much every community. From alternative medicine healers to psychics, they’re as easy to track down as a local hockey rink. If an organization as conservative as Tourism Whistler was willing to join hands with the West Coast Institute of Mystic Arts to promote the resort, the appeal was even broader than I had thought. My mind was opening. It was time to discover what I’d been missing.

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