This article appeared in the September/October 1996 issue of The Skeptical Inquirer, the journal of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, an international organization.
‘This is very, very unusual,” Emma says, leaning closer to inspect the whorls on my fingertips and the lines on my right palm. She pauses for a heartbeat and raises her eyes. “This is going to just knock you out of the water, Joseph.”
I ease forward in the cream-colored armchair, keeping my feet flat on the carpet, careful not to cross my energy. I peer down and study the lines of my palm. I look for patterns. Instead, I see a jumble of cracks and creases. Mostly, I see chapped skin.
But what do I know? I’m not the expert here. Emma is. Emma (not her real name) is a spiritual counselor, a palm reader, a numerologist, a clairvoyant, a practitioner of the divine sciences. She is, in a word, a psychic — by reputation, one of the top psychics in Northern California, I am told.
Emma fixes me with a soulful stare. “Are you ready for this, Joseph?”
I am ready. For I’m sitting here today, in the sun-splashed living room of Emma’s ranch-style home, for precisely this reason: to get in touch with my inner path.