Sunday, January 27, 2008

Henri Llewelyn Davies: Star of psychic star-gazers

Henrietta Llewleyn Davies died in March 2011.

Rebecca novelist Daphne du Maurier was “some sort of cousin” of hers, her grandfather helped inspire JM Barrie’s Peter Pan while she herself played muse to her mother's famous ad slogan and Kate Winslet has played her great grandmother in Finding Neverland. An interview with the UK-based psychic astrologer Henri Llewelyn Davies.

Henrietta Llewelyn Davies – Henri to her friends - is one of the UK’s top astrologers having written sun sign columns for Cosmo, TV Times, Woman’s Own and other top-selling publications as well as features for The Times and women’s magazines.

She is also a psychic – able to foretell and truth-tell through an extra-sensory perception I do not understand. One of her major private clients is the novelist Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit) who wrote about her in 2003 (in the Mail, Vogue and Times). She confessed: “My sceptical friends who have had readings with her have all admitted that Henri is special. I am no longer wary of telling people that I use a psychic astrologer. If they protest, I suggest they find out for themselves. They are always impressed.”

Henri is the only Oxford-educated astrologer I know of – and she has a fascinating literary back story. As Winterson tells it: “She [is] related to Daphne Du Maurier on one side of her family - remember Rebecca and Jamaica Inn? On the other side was JM Barrie of Peter Pan fame.

“Her grandfather was one of the 'Lost Boys' adopted by Barrie, and for whom he wrote Peter Pan. But that wasn't all. Henri's great-great grandfather was Queen Victoria's chaplain, and her father was in the Guinness Book Of Records as Britain's most married man. Her mother, meanwhile, was hugely successful in advertising and gave the nation the slogan ‘Cheese Please Louise.”

Henri gives private phone readings from her west London home and there’s a link to her website at the bottom of this interview. She agreed to answer questions by email ...

How do you describe yourself professionally - psychic? astrologer? medium?

I’m a psychic astrologer – I look at people’s horoscopes according to their date, time and place of birth, finding the positions of the planets in a book called an Ephemeris, so this part is “technical”. But astrology was never an exact science and I mix “standard” astrological interpretations of the signs and planets with my own psychic insights and intuition to determine how a person is using their horoscope chart. Even the basic, “stock-in-trade” astrological interpretations are many and varied – there are many ways to use a horoscope – people do have considerable free will, so forget that old chestnut about astrology being deterministic and ignore the idea of Scary Malign Fate.

Mediumship is usually about proving human survival after death. This is not really my line of work, but a lot of very sincere people do this difficult job, often for very poor pay (for example, in Spiritualist churches).

Occasionally my clients say they are desperate for “news” of their dead relatives. One woman wanted to know her dead mother was now okay. I said that I felt she was (note: I‘m not God!) and then I said, “I see a dinner service in my mind’s eye” and described it. (It’s like visualising a picture, say from a magazine, in your head – anyone can do this, by willpower, for a split second anyway. But in my case I don’t programme what I “see”, it just happens, also very briefly. This is not rocket science – it happens to many people and one theory is that everyone has psychic ability somewhere, but they may not have developed it).

The girl’s response to my “vision” of the plates was, “Oh, my mother just lived for her dinner service!” She thought that her mother was sending her a message or perhaps a sign. Personally, I’m not sure what to think about that ....

Have you ever had a sitting with a medium?

I once had a startling one in which he “brought through” a relative of mine who was probably the highest paid British novelist of her day.

I feel it’s best, with mediums, not to feed them information, so I called myself Miss Davies (or ‘Davis’) when I phoned up for a sitting. I was thinking it was better to err on the side of paranoia: I was writing a horoscope column for the highest-circulation magazine of the day - under my own mouthful of a name. Probably the medium wouldn’t know this or read my stuff, but still ... I didn’t do TV at the time – this made sure I was a very anonymous figure when I walked in.

As things turned out, my surname is publicly (albeit not really famously) linked with the sitting below in a way that hadn’t occurred to me at all - so my instinct for secrecy turned out to be right.

This medium, having established a “link” with someone he said wanted to speak to me, said, “I’m going to the West Country in my mind’s eye, right the way down across England.”

(I was partially brought up by my grandmother, who lived in Cornwall. Okay, maybe).

“It’s a distinguished lady, she’s bringing in stacks of paper and pens and a pile of books,” says he.

(Yawn-yawn, thinks I, my gardening-mad, strong-charactered Grannie wrote letters and read books, sure - who didn’t, in those days?)

“This lady was DEFINITELY born between 1900 and 1910,” thunders the medium.

(No - Grannie was born in 1898, possibly he’s just a bit out on dates, it’s very hard for mediums, think I, patronisingly).

“Henry!” he said, “she’s laughing and saying ‘Henry’ and pointing at you. That’s a MAN’s name!” he yelped indignantly.

“Yeah yeah, that’s my nickname, short for Henrietta.” (Not that my grandmother ever dreamt of calling me that).

It got better. He embarked on a series of clues – great fun, and with my mind on my Grannie I couldn’t fathom them immediately. This made the sitting all the more convincing when I finally put the picture together. (By the way, my own "psych" comes from somewhere else, is geared only to helping others, and on certain - often important - occasions myself: I can’t always switch on accurate intuition to order. This to the many Arcati fans who will say like so many members of the public say to psychics, “Well, how come you didn’t KNOW all that?” If I did I wouldn’t be human...)

The medium reported that this Lady said, “When I was on the earth I always saw my home, my house, in my mind’s eye.”

(Weird, comment I thought. Wasn’t she just living in it?)

He then whistled a few bars of a tune – you know how when someone whistles a bit of a song you know, but you can’t place it? “She says it’s the title that matters,” said the medium, adding, “it’s not very ladylike that she’s whistling, is it? She seems SUCH a lady. Do ladies like she seems to be USUALLY whistle?

“And she’s taking me to the West Indies, to Jamaica,” he added. “But she always wanted to come home when she went abroad, she’s saying.”

He picked up that there’s a “Llewelyn” in my name (Okay, Davies – Welsh – not that I’d spelt it for him). But the proof of this pudding was nothing to do with me writing high circulation horoscope columns (which I never did tell him about – they weren’t discussed).

Somewhere round now I twigged who his “communicator” was. He said she was a “loose link” of some sort. “But she IS a relative, a cousin. But now she’s not saying ‘My cousin Henri’; she’s saying, ‘My Cousin Rachel’.”

He went on with many comments – apparently she said that “she” had seen "Hitchcock" and "Larry" on the other side. By this time I wondered if he knew the story behind all this, which was already in the public domain to an extent. The ‘communicator’ had died quite recently and no biographical books had come out yet – a fact he mentioned. But he swore later he knew nothing about the communicator – and even if he had done, subconsciously, there was no reason he should have linked her to me, sitting in front of him.

The novelist Daphne du Maurier - the spirit communicator - was my grandfather’s first cousin and therefore some sort of cousin of mine (I never could fathom that first, second, once removed blah-blah system). I only met Daphne a couple of times, but we corresponded a bit as she was very kind to the young distant relative who wrote aged 14 saying: “I love your book Rebecca.” The whole tone of the sitting was a little bit impersonal, as fitted that particular relationship.

She was born in 1907. The medium’s dates did pan out. And she famously wrote the popular novels Jamaica Inn (the Jamaica reference – she never liked leaving her home turf to travel, either – this is a very well-known fact about her.) Another book of hers was My Cousin Rachel. The unidentified tune the medium whistled turned out, I realised, to be The Road to Mandalay. Daphne’s book Rebecca has an extremely famous first line: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”. I liked this joke!

Daphne du Maurier set Rebecca in her own “dream house’”, in reality called Menabilly, which she was only ever allowed to rent, not buy. She was forced to leave this house later in life, and never got over the loss. Hence what I initially construed as mystifying waffle from the medium, about her seeing her home in her mind’s eye. (At this point in the sitting the medium also said that she now has a replica of her beloved house in the spirit world! Mediums often say this sort of thing, but with Daphne’s attitude to her home the comment seemed to carry rather more weight).

There was much more that I knew already, or could check was accurate. His view of Daphne was not entirely as I would have seen her (I didn’t know her very well, don’t forget, a lot of what I knew was family hearsay). When I finally told him who he was talking about, he said: “Who that?” (Not his sort of thing, he said, though he did then say he’d seen some Hitchcock films which I knew were based on Daphne’s books.)

Sceptics can knock down almost anything if they want – so often it’s not hundred per cent provable. And yes, there is such a thing as inadvertent mind-reading, whether about dinner plates or Daphne – reading the subconscious, the things that aren’t uppermost in the mind, as well as the conscious. But I liked this sitting a lot, it’s almost watertight, and I believed this medium was genuine. It’s nice for me, because I know I fed him no information (others must believe what they feel is right).

The novelist Jeanette Winterson wrote long pieces about you for Vogue and the Mail - how you acted as her psychic guide. Were you happy with what she wrote? Are you still her guide? She says you were particularly good on property advice …

Jeanette wrote great pieces about me in the Times, Vogue and the Mail. I first met her in 1987. She learnt astrology from me as she wanted to write a novel involving it.

I told her she’d never use the things I was teaching her in her fiction, and indeed she never did. She has consulted me about decisions she has to make in her life many times through the years over the twenty years I’ve known her – like anyone else I speak to she is seeking answers to “unknown quantities”.

Sometimes psych sees round corners that are impossible to gauge with the normal part of one’s brain – it’s useful for seemingly unfathomable conundrums and decisions. I think very high-powered hard-working people like Jeanette, who are incredibly efficient as well as mega-creative, save themselves time and energy by having proven, trustworthy advisers, to clear their heads and cut corners to reaching wise and productive decisions. It doesn’t have to be an astrologer or a psychic - but getting other people who are worth their salt involved is a good system.

Numerous people want property readings – it’s such an expensive, risky business. I was once interviewed on the subject for the property section of the Sunday Times, and mentioned that property is in the end only bricks and mortar – and that perhaps the most important question people should ask is: “How can I live a fulfilling life?” It was interesting how many people who contacted me due to that piece said that the part of it they liked best was the reference to that question.

What do you advise on?

I advise about anything in life - light, heavy and medium-weight. There are numerous readings about relationships, of course. I always tell people I’m not infallible. But I know from experience that if I get really strongly negative feelings about, for example, a job someone’s thinking of taking they will almost certainly rue the day they ignore my advice.

I once insisted a client of mine just must go on a blind date she was reluctant to attend – I was inordinately bossy and pushy about it (not often the case with me, but I felt it was vital she took my advice on this occasion). She and the person she almost skipped meeting have now been happily married for many years. Life-changing stuff like that sometimes happens and I sometimes get to have a hand in it (of course, the client might have suddenly decided to meet the person in question after all, having ceased feeling reluctant, without my advice. But I sure pushed her hard – to her annoyance! - and she’d usually found I was accurate about other things so gave in).

Recently, I’ve had a run of mothers wanting to know about schools and nannies. Some areas are harder for us to fathom without a “sixth sense” than others are – for instance, schools can change unpredictably year on year, who knows what a child’s classmates will be like?, etc. Nannies who interview well may well turn out to be less than saints, etc.

One of the sadder questions, which recurs regularly, is, “Should I have my cat (or dog) put to sleep?” I so hate this question, but I have to answer everything – as positively as possible. Although I may not know it - until I’ve achieved hindsight – the fact is that my sources have been as kind as they can possibly be in any given situation (and obviously there are some traumatic ones). I’ve on occasion disagreed with vets who have felt animals have very little time left to live (with any quality of life, that is – the vets have the best of intentions and so do I) - and I have been proved right (as I have often turned out to be the more accurate one when I’ve disagreed with numerous other professionals employed by my clients – lawyers, architects, plumbers, etc.)

Once I was reading for someone regarding a dog called Dubonnet (not her real name, she was named after another form of alcohol...). The owner was trying to prolong the dog’s life (but not cruelly), and the vet didn’t want to – in this particular instance I felt forced to say, “Let her go”. I absolutely loathed and detested saying it to the poor woman, but I do know (a long story) that if I don’t give out what I strongly feel, then worse trouble really does follow (and I can’t judge in advance what sort of trouble that will be – I have to blindly trust my sources and I have to say they have never let me down – provided I listen and say what I’m told to say. It is an extraordinarily clever system when I’m channelling like that - for which, obviously, I can take no personal credit).

I often don’t know what the words I say are actually going to mean – often, words can be interpreted different ways – so I often literally repeat words I hear in my head when doing psychic work. A lightweight story about this involves a girl who had been dumped by a boyfriend – I told her that a new romance was on the way. “He’s miles better,” I said airily, ‘and he’s just around the corner.’ The girl got back to me a while later, giggling – she had indeed found a nice new boy - and said (referring to my comment): “His name’s Miles and he lives just around the corner!” Ha ha.

I don’t get bad news to impart usually (what’s the point of upsetting people in advance of anything they can’t stop happening) – one reason I DO get bad news is if it’s a warning and the person can do something about damage limitation.

And the conclusion to the Dubonnet story about the dog? She actually died naturally and somewhat unexpectedly in her sleep shortly after I’d so reluctantly advised the owner to let her go - the “bad news” had in fact served as a kind of preparation for the inevitable loss to come.

Jeanette says she was fearful of relinquishing her sense of independence. Is this a common reaction to your influence?

Nobody actually says that to me when they have a reading – because they’ve made up their minds they need help with some aspect(s) of their lives. They listen to what I have to say - then, in the end, they have to make their own decisions, of course. The big bogey question about astrology is about free will as versus predestination. In fact no astrologer is going to tell you that you have no free will: this is repetition but can’t be said too often. I think people have a lot more free will than they often believe.

Unlike many psychics, who pluck "information" and predictions for the future out of the blue (which is often very hit and miss) I narrow the field and work a lot on people’s questions about what they should do right now. I have found, over the quarter century I’ve been doing this work, that this gives far more accurate results for me.

I do also predict the farther future at times. I am a lot more “directive” than many non-psychic counsellors; I tend to tell people exactly what I think they should do (I think life’s short, and my approach can save time). There are often lots of possible answers to dilemmas and there are many potentially reasonable life directions – my job is to try and choose the one that’s best for my client’s happiness and personal growth. My input has to ring true to them at gut level for them to act on it – sometimes it may not seem logical, though!

What kinds of people consult you - any other names? Major names in journalism, publishing, business etc consult you, don’t they?

I can’t name names – it’s confidential. People talk to me as a respite from the outside world. When I was looking for celebrities to interview monthly for a series of articles I was doing for the Times, based on celebrities’ horoscope charts, I had no trouble finding Virgo and Libra names to interview, for the September and October issues, but I came unstuck the next month - on Scorpio.

The Times approached 40 celebs with Scorpio birthdays and they were all suspicious of this new form of interview, using astrology – even though I was only going to be nice and non-invasive with them (I’d never want to be anything but kind in my personal readings, published or not – life’s hard enough already). A couple of Scorpio stars who had already enjoyed having personal, private readings from me, on the telephone, also backed off in horror when I put the idea of a newspaper interview to them. Still, that’s Scorpios, they don’t like having their psyches dug into publicly. Understandable, really. People like to be private with me, usually.

Many professions come to me and I’m equally interested in everyone’s needs. The well-known people I do readings for are mostly writers or actors, artists/designers or creative people who, though now very high-powered business-wise, started off arty in some way. That goes with the territory. In my time I have myself been into writing/acting/arty things – so it’s also a case of “like attracts like”. Of course big companies also use astrologers – but I’m not one of them and stocks and shares are not my forte, though I’ll talk about them occasionally with clients if they really want.

You’re not just a psychic but also an astrologer - you’ve written sun sign columns for Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Own, TV Times, and others - why aren’t you doing these columns any more? Would you do them again?

I was once interviewed on TV together with an astro-physicist. I was a horoscope columnist and the TV company hoped we’d have an argument - but neither of us really wanted to. I said that everyone knows that horoscope columns are far more general than personal astrology, which is more specific and thus right on the nail more often. But with horoscope columns I know for myself that you can often get it right – I did the job for a very long time. If writing them, you must always find the ray of hope, even if there’s a lot of challenging planetary stuff around – you seriously can stop people slitting their wrists – I can’t stress this aspect enough, I was always concentrating on it, though sometimes my columns were also really fun. Afterwards the astro-physicist came up to me quite excitedly and said, “Do you know, I’ve never thought about the therapeutic qualities of astrology before? That’s very interesting, that it’s therapeutic.”

Hats off to him for admitting he’d overlooked something that to so many of us is so obvious. I have noticed that the greatest physicists (so far as I know anything about them – not my field) sometimes are almost like high-level mystics – very impressive in their wisdom and humility, admitting the great gulfs in their knowledge.

Horoscope columns are curiously democratic, in that many people from all walks of life read them, ranging from, say, some academics, to anyone else at all, and I like that. I wrote numerous horoscope columns for many years. I have concentrated on personal readings more recently, but I will now be very happy to write columns again,

It’s fashionable in Western intellectual circles to adopt an aggressive secularism - anything to do with the paranormal or mystical is dismissed as “mumbo jumbo” - what’s your view on this?

Mumbo jumbo (ie rubbish masquerading as truth) is found here and there in almost all fields – politics, the written word, my own field et al. Then again, much depends on all our personal prejudices as to what is mumb or jumb.

The traditional astrologer answer to people who dislike our field is to quote Isaac Newton who was very into astrology. When sneered at by a detractor he replied smoothly, “Sir, I have studied it. You have not.” I think that’s reasonable – quite slick actually, Isaac. Astrology is a subtle art, it’s not just about fixed interpretations of sun signs - the detractors would have to work hard to try and substantiate their claims and they rarely seem to. I think they perfectly reasonably prefer putting their energies into other things. Chacun à son goût, and why not?

Richard Dawkins, who was scathing about astrology on TV this year, admittedly may have been hamstrung by the customary hidebound lack of originality in TV companies’ ideas when they make programmes that are sceptical about astrology and psychic matters. They tend to come up with the same tired shallow arguments again and again. They are seemingly maddened that people put faith in horoscope columns (why not? So long as nothing negative comes out of them – it’s in the writing, that.)

One of their standard lines of attack seems to be to quote the so-called Barnum Effect ie when you circulate a list of general traits of human beings, supposedly applicable to one star sign but which in fact are very general and apply to just about everybody. You then hand this list out to Capricorns, Virgos, all the different signs if you like, and say, “This is your character as a (fill in the sign). Is it accurate? Is astrology therefore accurate, since it’s talking about (fill in star sign).” Of course, they all say yes, it’s accurate, even though it was written by one person for a sign that’s probably different from their own.

SO? Therefore, say the sceptics, all sun sign astrology is bunk. Oh, really? No, actually, that particular bogus mocked-up bit of paper just happens to apply to everyone – it wasn’t the whole spectrum of sun sign astrology those people (fill in star sign) were looking at. Dawkins used this example to debunk astrology on a TV programme this year – bit facile, that, sadly reductionist.

I don’t mind discussing astrology and psychic matters with sceptics. In my experience, it’s always been good-humoured, we exchange giggles with/at each other and anyway they’re often chuffed to hear me say anything accurate/encouraging about THEM – after all, everybody’s always wanting interesting knowledge about themselves.

How did you discover your gift? How did friends and family react? Then you went to Oxford Uni - that must be a unique selling point. Most psychics I know have not developed their intellects …

I met someone who was very psychic himself and had a knack of shoving people up a notch in that area. He gave me a certain amount of instruction verbally, but mostly I just started to absorb his gifts by some mysterious process of osmosis.

I had some fairly dramatic and definitely convincing psychic experiences around then, but maybe this is not the time or the place to go into that. Everyone is always most interested in their own psychic experiences, anyway – rightly. Most people can only really believe in it by experiencing some element of it for themselves.

Most of my friends were sanguine that I became an astrologer and psychic (including people I’d been to university with, who you seem to be implicitly defining as “intellectuals”). Some were fellow enthusiastic learners, almost all those who were sceptical were polite about it – all this says more about the quality of my friends than about anything I got right. With some friends I don’t talk about it much - I’d never shove it down anyone’s throat if they don’t want to know.

My family, most of whom died untimely anyway, and none of whom were psychics, would probably have preferred me to have the stability of a nine to five job – almost all relatives would, wouldn’t they? My grandmother’s reservations about my becoming an astrologer were purely financially based – although she also found it a bit freaky as a subject. However, when, in my youth, I tried a “real” job - working on the editorial side of publishing - I soon got sacked for being visibly so bored! And the bosses probably knew I was doing astrology under the desk, rather than the filing. Things have worked out fine since.

I don’t know if I did ever develop my intellect, or if other psychics do usually - the dictionary definition of intellect is actually "intelligence" and intelligence is hard to quantify.

I have a BA from Oxford in English Language and Literature (if you wanted to be an MA all you had to do was to wait a few years and then cough up £10 – I didn’t bother). I came away with a very middle, mediocre 2nd (Oxford didn’t divide them into 2.1s and 2.2s in those days) - not good really, as you should either get a first or a third. I did about a quarter of the academic work I was supposed to in my three years there (too busy reading tarot cards, perhaps!).

I went into most three-hour Finals exam half an hour late, wrote everything I could think up, and left half an hour early. English is a bit of a non-subject anyway, and to an extent was easy pickings for creative wafflers, but I suppose there’s also an argument to say that I used my strongly developed intuition to drag up just enough of the “right” stuff (well, I hadn’t READ that much) to satisfy the examiners.

The only exam for which I got an alpha (top mark) at Oxford was the only one you couldn’t swot up for - most people didn’t like that one much. You had to analyse a passage of prose or poetry, and say how and why it worked (or not). Again I think I was probably “helped” from Above – by my psychic ability - admittedly aided by a huge passion for poetry (though often not the poetry we were supposed to read at college) which also probably helped me to write about poetry well.

Many successful novelists say that their best work often seems to “come from somewhere else” or to “write itself”. But, as I understand it, you have to work damn hard at the craft of the novel if you want to get it right – these times of inspiration are maybe like a reward. I worked hard at poetry in my own fashion (though it didn’t seem like work - it was my lifeline in my traumatic adolescence). Maybe this says you can be psychic, or a “channel”, for really inspirational and/or respected thoughts, but you have to in some way work hard for it.

Tell me something about your family and their connection with JM Barrie.

My maternal grandfather was one of the five boys adopted by JM Barrie after their parents died young and tragically – he wrote Peter Pan entirely for them and to a large extent lived for them and through them.

The story of JM Barrie is told (with only a few glaring inaccuracies) in the film Finding Neverland – it was shown on BBC2 on New Year’s Day. I don’t know why the film company had only four, not five boys, in their version of the story (perhaps they couldn’t afford to pay a baby in a pram) and it was a bit disconcerting seeing Kate Winslet starring as my great grandmother. There is a reproduction of a portrait of the said great-granny in the film – I own the original.

I am called Llewelyn Davies like the above grandfather and my mother, because my father, a Fleet Street journalist (chiefly distinguished for once being editor of Picture Post - a magazine much lauded and ground-breaking in the 1940s-50s) - was married seven times (he was involved with my mother between the fourth and fifth wives).

My mother was a bluestocking turned advertising copywriter. She invented the popular slogan “Cheese please Louise” - for which I take credit as she got the idea from me aged five stomping annoyingly round the house screeching “What do you want for tea, Pam? Jam!”

Why do people consult you? Must they be in crisis to activate your gift?

People don’t need to be in crisis for me to psych things out for them, but it has to be something they genuinely want or need to know. Joke “test” questions like, “Well, what’s my girlfriend’s name, then?” often don’t get answers - it’s a waste of energy and I usually simply go blank. Party-trick psychics are fun, and have their place, but I’m not one of them. I’m there to help with what people DON’T know about and need for their development (and, though it may sound pompous, need ultimately for the good of the world) and I’m on the “spiritual” side of psychism, rather than the fun side.

Occasionally extreme sceptics seem to pull “useless” information they already knew out of me (are they “ready” on some level or something?). Such as the plumber who was working in my flat and who scoffed when he heard about my work : “I don’t believe in all that rubbish”. A voice in my head said, “Tell him he’s an Aries!” “How d’you know THAT? “ he spat, outraged. “I didn’t know myself,’ I said. “Somebody up there just told me it”.

And no I don’t guess sun signs normally (that’s what people ALWAYS ask at parties) – it’s a strange kink of the trade that professionals are less good at that than some amateurs. Perhaps because we get muddled up by all the other aspects of the chart we can perceive by the time we know a lot about the whole complex system. Everyone has far more to their horoscope chart than just their sun sign – moon sign, rising sign and much much more. Once you go into it deeply you tend to start finding you’re guessing sun signs wrong.

What are you reading right now?

Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs – the Left Bank World of Shakespeare and Company. By Jeremy Mercer. It’s about a famously eccentric, and rather wonderful, long-established English bookshop in Paris that I visited recently.

Complete this sentence. A happy life is...

A happy life is open to inspiration and love.

Thank you very much, Madame, for allowing me to appear on such an interesting, original and eclectic site. (PS Please keep saving whales and everything else that’s wonderful!)

Henri, thank you for your time, and a Happy 2008!


Anonymous said...

Yes, I suppose disgruntled clients, ex-clients or those for whom she got it wrong would not be mentioned in her 'interview'.I await other comments with interest, though I guess one will yours defending said article!
Best, anon.

Anonymous said...

I am generally sceptical of anything paranormal but this has at least the virtue of intelligence.

SUSAN said...

I have only never consulted an astrologer but I once had a reading or whatever it is called, from a medium, via e-mail. I used my married name and only 'Mrs' and a borrowed e-mail address. My only input was that he asked me ask him one question - any question. I asked 'What happened to X ?' The answer was extraordinary - at some length, including all kinds of information that could not possibly have been known and certainly not deduced from the question. It contained just one accurate and significant date, and another name - it also gave some details which, if guesswork, were amazingly well 'guessed.' I was totally convinced - there was very little 'padding' and that was only of the 'you should not be worried' variety. I have never done this again nor ever would. I received the information I needed and i was convinced that this was genuine. If not - well, as I say, the coincidences were quite extraordinarY. I had not asked for any date in any connection. But it was the highly significant date that was in the first sentence after the preliminaries - if I ASKED you to give me a date, any date, only one chance, how likely do you think it that you would hit on that date by chance ? Even KNOWING me what is the chance ?
I rest my case. Interesting interview MA.

Henri Llewelyn Davies said... Thanks - your comment's reasonable.

Dear Susan: Very many thanks for your story and implicit defence of the 'system'. p.s. I know you have/had some very nice pets (with some fine and rare descendants) - I wouldn't pretend to be psychic on this - I have met a couple of these special cats, although I've never met you yourself.

To I made it clear in the interview that I'm not infallible (who is, on this earth?). Having said that, I've had remarkably few complaints (to my face, anyway!) in my 25 years of doing this work. If you have a concrete grievance about psychics or astrologers or me you should be more specific about your complaint, which could involve you being less anonymous. If you just don't like what I do that's fair enough - nobody should believe in it unless they have proof and/or it makes sense to them at gut level. However, if you don't actually have personally distressing or unconvincing experience of the kind of thing I do, I wonder why you're taking the trouble to cavil? (IT's easier for me to just ask this than to use psych to try and work it out!)

Anonymous said...

Previous comment a very defensive one, but then this is a public forum, I guess one has to protect one's reputation; you'll see many much more negative comments in previous blogs aimed at psychics & astrologers,and people are entitled to their opinions.

Liz said...

Hmm, well I hope her prediction for me comes true, that would be very nice.

When I was six I was asked to guess what gift my father had bought my mother from a trip away and correctly said it was a sewing basket. On and off over the years I've known when unfortunate things are going to happen but it's not pleasant because you get the feeling you're causing it. I've seen my cat twice since she died which was nice and I often know who is on the phone.

I can see the Pope in May/June in white, smiling as he is getting down from something in the sunshine, not a car or Popemobile, more like an open horse drawn carriage. Don't know what happens after that but make a note MA so that you can say people read it here first.

Maybe I'd better book into the Priory for a showbizzy 'rest'.

forgotten ones fund/stephmastini said...

Dear Henri,
Your personality truly evokes a sense of empowerment; an endearing seem to be a "real" person, and you know what I am facades there...I would love to be privy to what you must encounter as a "star-gazer"..As a Scorpion, and Halloween baby, I am a believer in the paranormal... And I have had quite a few experiences that can qualify as such..I thoroughly enjoyed your are very intiguing and I believe that you know a bit more about me than others EVER will... don't you?
respectfully, "steph"
I believe that inspiration and love conquers all the evil that is thrown at a person...AMEN

SUSAN said...

Ah, Henri, perhaps you mean the cat with 'the face a mother could love' ?

Anonymous said...

< As a Scorpion, and Halloween baby, I am a believer in the paranormal... And I have had quite a few experiences that can qualify as such.. >

Yes, yes, Henri, believe her: she can distinctly see her behated sister behind every single (anonymous or not) poster on this blog. Isn't this a miraculous gift? If you're in need of an assistant, she's your man. :->

Moon Mistress said...

Sorry, I tried to refrain.....I truly did.

I was just thinking that anyone who doesn't believe that Arcati lets posts go through as written and doesn't censor or edit them, need only read a few from one certain poisonous, venomous, noxious regular contributor here.

Henri Llewelyn Davies said...

Dear Steph, Thanks very much for your comments. Yes, Scorpios are certainly one of the more psychic signs, usually, and certainly always the ones who do most of the deep probing, asking 'Who, what, why, where, when?' (Very general comments about Scorpios, I know.)

Dear Susan, I'm afraid I don't recognise the reference.
I meant Minnie (one of the most beloved of all her owner's cats), SO fondly remembered, and I think the younger ones are/were Minnie's descendants - if I'm correct: the Sylvan-mercurial Silver, and the boys Smudge and Kiki (oh well, I can't talk, i use a man's name - I never met the person who named those two, but I attempted to rename them Plug and Jack.)

Sorry I've hijacked the site, everyone, going on about cats hardly anyone reading it has known.

iknowsomethingyoudontknow said...

On Gaydar, the popular homosexualists discussion forum, they give the star sign for each users profile. Some very unscientific sampling of them suggests that there might be preponderance of scorpios amongst gay men. Any thoughts Madam A. ?

As for psychic phenomena - surely these are just the result of humans willingness to believe six impossible things before breakfast ? If they existed they would confer such a massive evolutionary advantage on the possessors that they would be universal and well-developed.

Madame Arcati said...

I don't know if any sun sign has a monopoly on any specific sexual constitution - I think I must know cock-cockers, cunt-cunters, cock-cunters and cunt-cockers - and various other in-between permutations - of all the 12 signs. I would only say that I have yet to meet a Capricorn who could not be described as highly sexed. They are all tarts.

As to your other point, people already possess mystical powers we scarcely understand: you would have to go into Prozac-induced denial to pretend otherwise. Yet such empowered souls appear modest on the whole but for the occasional Rasputin.

Get thee to your Ouija board and prepare for world government ...

Anonymous said...

Re: Moon Mistress comment,yes one wonders; MA's website is known for it's nastiness, so it is odd that people seem shocked about another anon. sending in comments of a differing view ? Quoting from MA's own site: "Madame Arcati's blog is one of the nastiest places I have ever seen on the net. Superficial, narrow-minded, spiteful, often slanderous... and utterly unreliable, because the blogger (and most of her/his so-called 'unimpeachable' sources) remain utterly anonymous."

Madame Arcati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madame Arcati said...

Its, dearie, not it's.

"Nastiness" in an unpaid blog is what is known as "forthright opinion" in a well-remunerated newspaper column. Just ask Jasper "pikey" Gerard. It's all about market values in the end - and special pleading by the fake-aggrieved.

However, I detect the attempt to veer away from the topic in hand. I'll allow it just this once or twice.

Moon Mistress said...

Madame Arcati wrote:
"However, I detect the attempt to veer away from the topic in hand. I'll allow it just this once or twice."

You are right, Madame. I do apologize.

As to the topic at hand, I personally do not believe in psychics mostly because I have had two sittings at different times and both times the readings and analyses were so far off as to be comical. I therefore concluded from these experiences that either both these two psychics were fakes who were just after my money or the phenomenon simply didn't exist.

I do, however, believe that there is a power that the human mind possesses that would be unparalleled if tapped correctly. I don't dismiss everything paranormal.

Anonymous said...

Moon Mistress said:
< I was just thinking that anyone who doesn't believe that Arcati lets posts go through as written and doesn't censor or edit them, need only read a few from one certain poisonous, venomous, noxious regular contributor here. >

Arcati lets go through the posts that serve his malicious purposes. Steph is an ideal subject, he could never dream of a more consenting victim.
My bet is that the goddamned hypocrite won't censor my post, because he relishes in advance Steph's uncontrolled response. She's the Tabasco in his Bloody Mary, you know. :-)

Madame Arcati said...

Anyone who calls herself Moon Mistress must have at least a latent interest in the ultramundane. Sadly there are many fake and half-baked psychics. Best to go on recommendation by someone who's had a good time with a seer - in general ignore people who call themselves chanellers, past-life regressionists or anyone who mixes psychism with Reiki. MA is always right on these matters, so don't argue.

As to the little poppet immediately above, note the bitter tone, the lack of humour, the self-importance, the nightmare that is their existence. It brings out my maternal instincts ... though the tabasco bit may indicate an incipient sense of humour. Hard to tell.

Anonymous said...

I have a yearly astrological forecast done and though I wouldn't say it's literally accurate, it does pick up on trends and moods in an uncannily true way. Do you do yearly forecasts Henri?

forgotten ones fund/stephmastini said...

I believe that you are the one, Moon Mistress, that has a problem with impulse control...and a very bitter palate.... that could only be interpeted as bottom of the barrel self esteem...I am the tabasco in YOUR Bloody Mary; don't you agree?...

Anonymous said...

< the bitter tone, the lack of humour, the self-importance, the nightmare that is their existence >

Outstanding self-portrait, Arcati.
Thanks for noticing my 'incipient sense of humour' at last. Should I add a shitload of smileys to every sentence, so that you don't miss it?

Madame Arcati said...

No smileys thank you. Now back to Henri and the other worlds.

SUSAN said...

HENRI... It was Minnie. I christened her as the cat with the face only a mother could love and our mutual friend was so outraged she took her away from me. Silver came via me too. You have met some special cats but Minnie was the most special.
You should meet two new special kittens, Iolanthe and Orlando. Iolanthe is a bit like Minnie but with a prettier face. (Don`t say I said so or she`ll come and take her away from me too.)

Anonymous said...

Steph Mastini jumped on her keyboard like an angry cat:

< I believe that you are the one, Moon Mistress, that has a problem with impulse control... >

And I maintain that the problem is all yours, honey. In your haste to (over)react you didn't even notice you were replying to the wrong person... Oh, can you see that large smirk on your dear 'Madame's' face?

Moon Mistress said...

forgotten ones fund/stephmastini said...
I believe that you are the one, Moon Mistress, that has a problem with impulse control...and a very bitter palate.... that could only be interpeted as bottom of the barrel self esteem...I am the tabasco in YOUR Bloody Mary; don't you agree?...

Uh, excuse me my sweet, but I didn't make those comments. It was the anon below me. Try to keep up my muddled one.

Moon Mistress said...

Madame Arcati said.......
Anyone who calls herself Moon Mistress must have at least a latent interest in the ultramundane.

True, true. I cannot lie about it. I would love if it were true that these people are truly gifted spirits. I guess I'm just cynical by nature. That's not to say I've completely given up hope, however.

henri Llewelyn Davies said...

Dear Susan,
Iolanthe and Orlando are very lucky to have such a good home. I spent a year or two trying to 'rescue' Greek stray cats - extremely hard as my only real contact in Greece was a woman who was saint-like re rescuing big stray dogs but (kind of understandably) cursed me for adding on cats to her load. You have obliquely jogged me (a Cat Woman at heart) to think I should do more of this kind of thing - so if anyone reads this and knows of anyone trying to do cat rescue in Greece these days, please alert me. The Dog Woman (an American in Greece) used to send a lot of stray animals to Germany, where they were kind to them. I can only hope the Greeks (and Spanish) have got better in their treatment of strays since I gave up in despair - the ex-pat Brits were often trying very hard to help there.

R.H. said...

We get these frauds peddling their rubbish here on the radio sometimes, and when they've given a few 'readings' and buggered off the host will always excuse it as 'just a bit of fun', but I doubt that the suckers, who are mainly women, regard it as trivial at all. If these crooks admitted it's just entertainment then fair enough, but they can't. Who'd pay to hear bullshit?
Well it's not a bad trick; there's no other racket where you can obtain money under false pretences and not get prosecuted. Meanwhile a theatrical little girlie I know often phones the weather bureau Saturday night to find out if it's going to rain the next day before setting up her psychic booth at our local fleamarket. True.

forgotten ones fund/stephmastini said...

obviously you are not privy to genuine psychics..I could expound on the virtues of many seers who are employed by many victim units in the police departments... solved murders, found bodies that trained personnel have scratched their heads working endlessly without any can you explain this "phenomenon"...I can, I believe...

forgotten ones fund/stephmastini said...

wow, I have been duped..this quy is a quack a do...did you click on his blog name..what a waste of my time...I apologize for even attempting to educate a moron...

R.H. said...

A moron? Wooh! How psychic. And is that your real photo?


How intelligent.

Well look, you may have heard about a case here in South Australia where three children (The Beaumont Children) vanished from a beach, and in the end a "famous" Dutch clairvoyant (Croiset) was brought out here to find them and had police digging up a concrete floor in a building to find nothing.

If you believe in this sort of rubbish I feel sorry for you.

R.H. said...

And if you're so cold-blooded to call people morons I'm glad not to be needing your 'charity'.

forgotten ones fund/stephmastini said...

..poppycock! I don't understand the question? RH? (Rodent hide)...your profile is obviously a joke...

R.H. said...

It's a joke against a gourmet sociologist here called Mark Bahnish who runs a blog called Lavartus Prodeo. "It's that time again," he says, every second day, scabbing dough for posh meals. What a sponge! But tell me this, why are horoscopes always hidden between the comic strips and sports pages, I'd have thought such vital info would deserve more prominence. How disgraceful. haw haw haw.


My crystal ball recommends a hello to Madam Arcati. And says find the undead RH on CopperWitch. An interesting blog. My word yes. And yours too.