Billy Idol’s shotgun classic “White Wedding” found its way to the radio again during a rainy commute to work a few Fridays back. The 9 a.m. song revival likely went unnoticed by most radio listeners in the state.

But I noticed.

I noticed because I knew the song would play before it did — not because I had requested it or heard the DJ announce it. I just knew, the lyrics hijacking my caffeine-powered train of thought moments earlier as I slowed for traffic on the Casco Bay Bridge.

Had I lured the song out from its ’80s hibernation with secret telekinetic talents? Had a powerful psychic ability revealed itself in the driver’s seat of my water-logged sedan?

It’s a blurry line, it seems, between “coincidence” and “clairvoyance.” And despite the efforts of Montel Williams and prime-time TV dramas, psychics haven’t been able to kick their “for entertainment purposes only” status in the mainstream.

Even still, I like reading my horoscope every morning. And I like opening my palm to a sidewalk soothsayer and having my future read, even if that future never happens.

But then, maybe it will.

Jackie Major, a spiritual counselor and trained clairvoyant, sets up shop twice a week at a small table in Portland’s North Star Music Cafe. She offers 10-minute introductory readings for $10, enough to tempt even the most budget-conscience curiosity.

Being a sucker for all things psychic, I slid into the open seat at her North Star table for a reading last week. She uses tarot cards during these sessions, though she also took a moment to read my aura (which hadn’t at all been dampened by the rain) and recall my past lives.

I’d been a scribe many lives over, she said, for Egyptian royal families, the Catholic Church and possibly the pope himself. It was hearty past-life practice, I thought, for the serious, course-of-the-world-changing work I do now. (And I will be including that information on future resumes.)

My future, Major noted, was more fluid. “I look at the future and see what the possibilities are,” she said. “But you can shift the outcome.”

Major isn’t the sort of clairvoyant who will try to read your life with the to-the-hour detail of a TV Guide. Instead, she sketches a larger picture based on the overturned tarot cards and what she senses from the person in the chair next to her.

You won’t get winning lottery numbers, but she’ll hone you in on a financial decision you’ve been avoiding. She won’t name the store you’ll be in when your shopping cart crashes into your future husband, but she’ll reawaken situations in your past that have been preventing you from crashing into him sooner.

“It’s empowerment,” Major said. “Identifying obstacles and providing info to work through it.” Our futures are not a timeline of predetermined dramas, like the changeless scenes portrayed in a deck of tarot cards. Rather, our futures allow numberless outcomes and alternate routes.

They also allow for a fresh start when needed — because sometimes, like Billy Idol says, it’s a nice day to start again. 

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 822-4056 or at:

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