Melissa Portan MSW, MEd

Writer & Sexologist

Melissa is a 5th generation spiritual guide and healer who specializes in helping others find their own spiritual path. She is also a sex and relationship therapist practicing in NYC.


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Tarot Horror: The Rapping Medium

I had an odd experience years ago. This happened back when I was starting on my spiritual path. I was starting to get really good at reading the cards. I was exploring and getting to know the spirit world. It was all exciting and new. It was feeling like I could do things on my own, like I didn’t need anyone else to guide me. But I was also having experiences that I doubted were real. I was, for the most part, alone. Being so new to everything I wanted proof. I wanted my experiences validated. What better way than to go to a medium, right? Somebody else might have referred me to a psychiatrist, but I began to search for a reader. I just really needed to know that I was not going crazy. I needed to know that someone else could see what I see.

The person who introduced me to readers, in effect the person who first saw me, was no longer available.  Then, I found an older woman who read the tarot, but I could not afford it. She was a bruja. A real witch. But she charged what seemed to me then, an obscene amount. After all, I reasoned, I don’t need an in-depth reading because I am more than familiar with the process. So, weeks later, I finally found someone who was not expensive.

I was thrilled when I saw she was not far from where I lived. This reader was based nearby. I thought it was wonderfully convenient, even thought of it as synchronicity. I told my mom, who was very reluctant. With my desperation I convinced her and we made our way over. We went in the morning, perhaps around ten. When we got there I could not see the entrance to the place. I stood across the street, under the shadows of  some anemic trees, and looked at the various small store fronts. I think we spent about fifteen minutes looking for the consulting center before I mustered up the courage to call the number.

It rang and rang. No one picked up. My mom was getting impatient and wanted to go home. But I insisted. I called again and when I heard a female voice answer I jumped with excitement. A polite voice answered me and I could hear loud background noise. I could hear a baby crying and an older woman admonishing other children. It sounded like breakfast was being made for a large family. The female voice caught my attention again. “Just come to the door,” she said, “I’ll be down in a few.”

So, I turn to my mom with a massively idiotic smile on my face and tell her that she’ll see me. We cross the street and stand outside a dilapidated metal door; an entrance to an apartment building squished by commercial stores. When the door opens a young blond woman let us in. She seemed flustered. I don’t remember now exactly what she was wearing, but I remember thinking that it was very bohemian. I remember a long patterned skirt and maybe a tank top. I remember that when she later came back to start the session she crossed her legs and I saw her sandals with a loop on the big toe. But as my mom and I entered the building its bleakness and emptiness shattered through my mom. She bolted. My mom decided to wait for me outside. Apparently the center or office or whatever you want to call it was the base of the stairs. It did not count as a foyer because it was too small. The walls were grey, a dark metal grey. Then, at the right side corner of the little foyer was a small sound table. On top of the table was the tarot deck. It was a very well used tarot deck, the cards were bent at the edges. It was The Legacy of the Divine Tarot. She told me I could touch them until she got back.

When she came back I was sat on a stool and she sat in the chair in front of me on the other side of the round table. “So, what kind of reading do you want?” I opted for the psychic reading since I had never had one, at least, I thought I hadn’t. Today I know that any type of reading that involves the other side counts as a psychic reading. What this young woman meant was an energy reading. She was hesitant and tried to get me to do the tarot reading. But I told her I already knew how to read the cards. She seemed taken aback by my comfort, curiosity, doubt, and everything else. My mom had been smart. I should have bolted then too.

The reading began. She took some deep breaths, closed her eyes, and then started. She asked a few questions. I don’t remember what they were. But they were the sort of questions that answered themselves. And I noticed that she got frustrated. “Do you have anything to do with Florida?” “Pshh, no. I’ve never left New York City.” “Because there is something in Florida that is calling you.” And I thought to myself, no way Florida is calling me, I hate the summer. “Well, there is a paper you have to sign. Is there anything like that?” I was really starting to regret having gone in there. “No, I’m not involved in any papers.” It was then that she slapped her left knee in frustration. “My spirit guides are telling me something but I’m not sure you want to hear it. What do you want to know?” oh, now you ask? “I want to know about love. I want to know if there is someone for me.”

I don’t remember her answering me. I think she shrugged it off. I told her that I was there to learn from her, to listen to what she has to say. So she started rapping. I am not kidding you when I tell you she started rapping. This white, blond, hippy-looking woman went ghetto on my ass. Kind of like my writing just turned. She started speaking normally, “You’re very talented and independent.” and then, moments later, she went full gangsta rapper mode, “You’ve achieved a lot but you ain’t got nottin’ to show for it.” She ended her psychic dissing when I rolled my eyes.

The rapping medium tried to end the session positively by giving some inspirational sentence of working for what I want. I was zoned out and disappointed by then. But it was time to pay up. Twenty-five dollars. I looked at her and said, “Can I pay you half because you pretty much got everything wrong.” “I’m sorry, that’s not how this works.” “Riiight.” and while I got my money out she started speaking again, “God has given me this gift. Some people don’t understand.” I just have her the money and politely and contritely thanked her.

My mom couldn’t stop laughing at me on the way home. To this day I still hurt at the loss of those twenty-five dollars. I’m even still curious about her. I feel like going back to see her and paying her to read her. I know, I know, it’s horrible of me 😉

Namaste friends.


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Wounds. Time heals all wounds. That is one of the biggest lies people tell to assuage the pain they are feeling in the present. The truth is, time is indifferent to your pain and suffering. Time does