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New Woman (Tarot Reading)
(Photos below.) Feb 1993.
At the time, New Woman was edited by Gill Hudson, a remarkably successful journalist and editor. By now, I expect either she's retired or occupies a terribly important positon somewhere. She was absolutely delightful to work with. I read an interview with Gill (many years after this article) in which she shared her management philosophy. She said she always told the people who worked for her, "I don't care if you make a mistake. I do care if you don't try." Isn't that great!?
Journalist Jerome Burne came up with the idea for this article. Gill chose someone who worked on the New Woman team, a young secretary called Rebecca, and I met her in an office to give her a tarot reading. Jerome watched and took notes. I gave Rebecca a very detailed reading and although there were a few misses (as there always are) I seemed to get a lot of hits too.
"The whole reading had lasted 40 minutes and Rebecca was impressed. She was particularly amazed by the hit on the accident and thought her character had been summed up really well. So could it all have been done by guesswork? 'Oh no,' said Rebecca, 'there were too many significant things he picked up for it to be just guessing. He's definitely got some sort of power.' "
Of course, we tactfully told Rebecca the truth later.
This article taught me something I didn't know: these types of monthly magazines have an incredible lifespan and end up in all sorts of places. Even three or four years later, I was getting strange enquries arising from this one article, not all of them from the UK.
All credit to Jerome for coming up with the brilliant headline, 'Play Mystic For Me', which was probably the best thing about the article.
In the article, Jerome made it clear that I wasn't a con artist and I didn't go round in real life giving fake readings for money. He explained that I had given the reading purely for demonstration purposes for this article. Quite a few readers seemed to miss this point. Gill shared with me some of the comments she received (without divulging any personal or confidential information). One reader wrote in to say, "If Ian Rowland is going round conning people like this, he's a sad and shameful specimen of a human being."
So, there you go. You try to help people to assess psychic claims critically and you get called 'ASASSOAHB'.