Make no mistake about it, Johnson and the other practitioners at the CenterPoint Project are the real deal. The organization personally screens every holistic healer, tarot card reader and numerologist who takes part in the Psychic and Holistic Healing Expo to ensure the highest professional quality. And Johnson can tell a lot just by looking at a face. (She learned the art from her boss at a headhunting service, which used the practice to screen candidates.) Your long-suffering calendar editor is organized and excels in managing people. We're a self-starter who meets deadlines but doesn't take direction well. Our upper eyelid is slightly obscured by a flap of skin. "That means you've got quite a bit of energy," she explains. In a troubling sign for us Gen-Xers, the goatee shows we hide our feelings from co-workers.
But what we really want to know is what's behind this nasty habit we have of chewing our nails. "Yeast," Johnson says cryptically. "You're prone to parasites. Stay away from salad bars."
Jenny Grier, who manages the project with her husband, Douglas, can draw hundreds of interested clients to an event like this, 75 percent of whom are women. Visitors can find oils, herbal remedies, a masseuse or a reflexologist at different booths and tents throughout the grounds. Heck, CenterPoint was doing tai chi and feng shui years before Hollywood celebs made it cool. The fair is a kind of sampler plate for the project's regular classes, a chance to test an ancient art, catch a lecture on spiritual attunement, or learn about your future.
"You're not happy with what you're doing," says numerologist and card reader Helen Shaner, a Filipino woman with poofy hair. "If you stay [where you work], it will take you a long time to grow. You have more talent than them." She sighs as she manipulates the numbers in our birthday. A bad sign: "You can't trust the people you work with. Some are the enemies from your past." This makes sense, considering all the people we killed as a soldier in the 15th century.
Shaner feels her psychic gifts can do a lot of good. The people who come to her often don't have insurance for "legitimate" forms of psychotherapy, so they ask her instead whether they should leave their spouses. The project gets dozens of letters a month from people who feel its practitioners heal mind, body and spirit as well as anyone with a Ph.D. Then again, you could just show up to get your fortune read.
"You will buy a car in the next four months," Shaner says, tracing our fingers. She also reads palms. "A Jeep."
But what about this nasty habit we have of chewing our nails?
Shaner shrugs. "You get nervous."