Business is down nearly everywhere, but inside The Psychic Eye readings are up 20 percent.
At the location at Russell and Eastern (there are three other Psychic Eyes and several similar shops in Henderson and Las Vegas), a minimum of 60 people come in each day seeking answers and direction.
The store has plenty of success stories. A few days ago, they tell me, a woman came in frantic about not being able to find her brother. With the help of a Tarot card reader, she was able to locate him within the hour. Another hysterical lady came in while I was in the shop on the verge of tears after seeing a vision of her dead ex-husband. A tarot reader told her to breathe, led her behind a beaded curtain and thoroughly talked her through her troubles, likely for less than an hour at the shrink.
Most people could use some guidance every now and then, but although every individual’s circumstances are unique – some are seeking the dead souls of their dearly departed, others relatives in living form – we all share the same two holy grails on our life quest.
“Love and money, that’s what people ask me for every day,” says Lori Steele, the woman behind The Psychic Eye’s front counter. After love and money, says Steele, our priorities are meditation, relaxation and stress relief.
For that, The Psychic Eye has what you need, if you feel such things can be bought. There are the popular Tarot readings (call in advance for an appointment) given by licensed readers—it is illegal to give readings out of your house or to give readings without a license in the state of Nevada. The readings are $20 for five minutes, $30 for a half hour and $50 for an hour.
The shop also hawks the healing powers of aromatherapy, in the form of candles and incense or bath salts and essential oils. The most calming and cleansing fragrances are said to be lavender, patchouli, musk, sandalwood, amber and jasmine.
And The Psychic Eye blends various essential oils to produce special potions with names like Money Draw, Protection and Gamblers Lucky Play. What affect they have on the cards, dice or slots, we can’t say.
There are also over 50 types of healing herbs and over 50 types of raw crystals and gemstones ($2.50 for a herb satchel, $1 for a gemstone or crystal). The herbs are potent and fragrant and recall science class at Hogwarts, a witch’s brew or something you’d like to soak in: mugwort, myrrh, peppermint, rosebuds, passion flowers, patchouli, sunflowers, sulphur, sassafras and skullcap. Each has its own purported abilities – Nutmeg, for example, brings luck, money and health. You can even buy a handful of Mojo Wish Beans, which seem to come straight from a fairytale. So be careful what you wish for. In fairytales you tend to get it.
Different stones are used to balance different parts of your chakra, or force center, with their energies. Amethyst calms fears, while quartz is cleansing. The crystals are meant to be carried or worn as jewelry. Voodoo charms and talismans, engraved with occult designs, may bring the wearer fertility, protection on journeys, or the power to incite lust or win a battle.
The Psychic Eye deals in more aggressive treatments, too. You can sprinkle Black Water, or Agua Negra, on a pesky neighbor’s doorstep. When they walk over the Black Water, they will be dissatisfied with their place of living and want to move away—or so claims the label. You can poke the eyes out of a voodoo doll, to punish by proxy your ex or your boss. You can burn sage to cleanse your house of hindering negative energy.
“We try to provide things in this store that you can’t find in any other store,” says Robert Leysen, the owner of all ten Psychic Eyes located in Vegas and California, with the biggest—frequented by celebrities and used as backdrops in films--in Sherman Oaks. “Things that relate to personal growth, to peace and to religion. We try to meet a broad spectrum of peoples’ needs.”
These “things” include self-help books, Ouija Boards, Buddha statues, Samurai swords, and belly dancing chains.
“This is sort of a sophisticated take on the old head shops,” says Leyson, who has been in the business for 23 years. Leyson regales me with stories about the hippie days, when people came in for pot-smoking pipes and beaded curtains to hang in their Bohemian dwellings. He also reminisces about student riots against “The Establishment” and how white women dated black men with big dogs in order to rebel. “It was a whole different way of life.”
Today, there are no longhaired paisley-clad flower children or angry UNLV undergrads hiding out from tear gas. A few fit blonde thirty-something women in tight black Adidas workout gear and a handsome man in gray slacks and a pink collared button up are browsing like it’s the neighborhood Trader Joes. Apparently, even suburbanites dig the supernatural.
“A lot of people practice witchcraft and are into Wiccan,” says Leyson, showing me some silver, etched objects. “They swing these pendulums to get answers. The general public would be surprised.”
I’m rather surprised myself, and the lessons keep on coming. Steele explains to me how thoughts are things, as the Japanese scientist Dr. Emoto claimed to prove in his experiments with words and water crystals.“What you believe, you make true for yourself,” she says with conviction.
Leyson ushers me into a room to get a reading from a woman named Nancy who introduced herself as a clairvoyant. For the first time in my life, I picked three Tarot cards from a stack and had my future told. Apparently, I’ll meet my soul mate around December or January. Until then, I guess I’ll just have to practice aligning my chakras and wait.