With sidewalks covered in hoary frost and streets coated with several layers of mean slush, Morrison roads saw only the very brave or senseless the morning of Sunday, March 2.
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize it was a better day to stay inside watching reruns of “Magnum P.I.” than to venture out on those dangerous roads to explore mysteries of an entirely different kind.
Then again, this is Colorado, and you didn’t have to be a psychic to realize the streets would be mostly clear by early afternoon. Which is exactly what happened. And which is exactly who was waiting inside the small purple house on Stone Street.
Collage in Morrison decided to hold its first psychic fair despite the snowy weather, and practitioners braved the treacherous streets to ply their trades. The fair was planned to be the first of many at Collage, with one slated for the first Sunday of every month.
And on that first Sunday, a variety of reasons brought people out of their homes to practice soothsaying, or to receive a little divination on the side. And the common denominator was hope.
An event termed a “psychic fair” could bring to the uninitiated mind images of spoon-bending races and competitive crystal-ball gazing, but reality soon projected a different picture.
At late morning, Rayah Rideout, co-owner of Collage, gathered with a dozen other very normal-looking people with self-proclaimed extra-sensory abilities as they set up their stations at foldout tables around a comfortable room.
Rideout opened Collage a year ago with two friends to provide a space for practitioners to teach more traditional disciplines like tai chi, yoga and feng shui — and to practice some unconventional ones, such as energy balancing, sound healing and neuro-linguistic programming.
“(Collage) is a place for people to come in and work from as teachers and practitioners …,” Rideout said. “And that is why we call it Collage — because it kind of opens it up so people can bring in their individually honed talents, and have a space where they can come and take advantage of those talents.”
Rideout, who operated a day care center in her home for 23 years before starting Collage with her business partners, said a lot of people who do this sort of work are doing it because it’s their passion — and they usually have to keep their day jobs.
Janette Learned sits with her eyes closed at a table with a variety of brightly colored cards in front of her. She, like many in the room, is waiting for her first clients of the day. According to Learned’s business card, she’s a certified light body practitioner who is clairsentient, clairvoyant and clairaudiant. Learned’s day job is in human resources.
“There are not a lot of people at work who know that I am clairvoyant,” Learned said. Although the benefits of being in human resources and psychic should be immediately obvious.
Learned is a veteran of numerous other psychic fairs around the state. The way she sees it, most people who attend psychic fairs are looking for some type of guidance.
“They have relationships or job issues or are trying to determine what type of career path they would like to have or how to handle a family situation,” Learned said.
Shaunasea Cummins sits a few feet away at a small table with a neatly stacked deck of “angel cards” and a small flickering candle.
Shaunasea’s former name is Nancy, but she changed it a few years ago when she went through a series of life changes, which included leaving the Postal Service after 21 years and being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“I got sick, I got MS, and it was like, ‘I need to heal this, and I can’t heal it in a stressful job’ so I just changed my whole life around,” Shaunasea said. “I’ve gone through so many changes in the last two years that (Nancy) just doesn’t fit anymore.”
She said she believes people attend psychic fairs to receive affirmation they’re doing the right things in life.
“They just need to know that they’re on the right track, that they’re making the right decisions, that life is OK,” she said.
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Mia Foley is standing at the back of the room next to a large blue box on a tripod that resembles a 19th-century camera that had been tinkered with by Jules Vern. The box is essentially a Polaroid camera that specializes in “aura photography.” The end result tends to be a picture of a person surrounded a sorbet of hazy oranges, pinks and yellows.
Cummins said the main reason she got into aura photography was because her goal is to reach out to the people who are dipping a toe in the metaphysical waters.
“I think that people are finding out that the stuff that has fulfilled them isn’t fulfilling them as much as it used to be, and they are kind of exploring and expanding,” Foley said. “Back in the day, chiropractors were considered (unusual), and now they’re considered normal. Even acupuncture has gained a lot of acceptance. So … it is just an evolution.”
It isn’t too long before some of the first clients of the day shuffle in from the snowy Morrison streets. Two young women begin perusing the appointment sign-up sheets. There still aren’t a lot of customers at the purple house on Stone Street, but the day is young, and the practitioners at the psychic fair probably could have predicted that more would soon be on their way.