Life started for me on the sunny beaches of Rio de Janeiro as a daughter of immigrants from the northeast of Brazil. I was lucky with my family. My mother has always been a woman of great faith and dad had also dabbled with the esoteric.
Brazil has some very colourful spiritual practices; it’s full of religious syncretism with many festivities blending Christian and African symbolism. A real pick and mix of whatever takes your fancy, at least that’s how it used to be.
Mum has 4 sisters and 3 of them love psychics. They used to visit them all the time, always on the lookout for a new one so I grew up in that environment. During the consultations I always remained very quiet, observing every move, totally captivated by the atmosphere.
At 9 I had my first taste of what was to come. One day I picked an old Lenormand deck my mum had, in Brazil they are known as Baralho Cigano – Gypsy Cards, rolled a scarf around my head, got some earrings, went to the car park, sat behind a cardboard box and declared that I was “open for readings”. I had a few “clients”, including adults and at the end my pouch was full of coins. My family found the episode hilarious and couldn’t believe people wanted to have readings with a 9 year old!
My teenage years were troubled. I became very rebellious, clashing with authority and being expelled from schools. It was time for rock music, going out, drinking and smoking, experimenting with drugs, crying for boyfriends and generally being miserable. I was also diagnosed with depression which I still have from time to time.
At 15, dad gave me my first Tarot deck, the Mythic Tarot by Juliet Shaman-Burke & Liz Green. I soon realized that reading cards was the only thing that I could do well so I became a professional reader. Due to my experiences at school I decided university wasn’t for me.
A 23 I went travelling and fell in love with the UK. London, the city of rebels embraced me not as a misfit but as someone creative and worthy. Like my parents I became an immigrant but unlike them I decided there was no going back. I was granted the privilege of becoming a British Citizen in 2008 and to this date I consider this to be my greatest achievement.
I worked for 12 years in social care, dealing with real-life cases of loss, trauma, recovery and hope. Working with both victims and offenders reinforced my respect for people’s personal experiences. Everyone has the right to change including me so at 35 I decided to go back to college. I felt empowered by the realization that it’s never too late to learn. Soon after my first graduation in 2014 I left my job but being a full-time psychic wasn’t that easy.
Sadly, there is still a huge stigma attached to psychics. I have been ridiculed on many occasions when I revealed what I did for a living and was often treated as a joke act when I worked at private events. My frustration inspired me to investigate the parallels between therapy and spiritual practices in an academic setting so I embarked on my second graduation. My dissertation validated what I already knew: psychics and therapists facilitate the same process: self discovery, renewed sense of purpose, direction and personal empowerment. I started to integrate my skills in my practice, using a robust ethical framework which gave me respectability as a psychic as well as a psychotherapist.
As my reputation grew, invitations to travel abroad followed, culminating with a trip to India to attend the prestigious Women Economic Forum 2017. To my utter surprise, my lecture on Building Bridges between Psychotherapy and Spirituality was qualified as Award Winning. As I got the stage to receive my prize, I had a flashback and saw a child dressed as a gypsy sitting behind a cardboard box, blinking and smiling at me. It was an unforgettable experience.
My 40s have brought me unexpected surprises. I’m proud of my achievements but wise enough not to be deluded about my talents. I am not a guru who will miraculously change people’s lives. I keep vanity at bay and focus on my passion. The rest comes naturally.
When I’m not working, I can be found lazing about at my home in Hampton, with my books, a warm cup of tea with my cat Ruby snoozing nearby. Until the next trip comes, when I pack my suitcase, prepare my cards, take a deep breath and off I go, ready for another adventure…