Predictions in the Dust

The day came when I had to get my life out of storage and start reducing the possessions.

Each object had a dozen memories, and then there were the letters and photographs and diaries never to be forgotten, impossible to throw. The books were easier. The childhood toys better not to be gone through. I didn’t realise I had such a big life.

Then came the sadness, the mourning for what could have been. It was a grim business. It had to be gone through again because there was only space for half the stuff. Hours later I chucked away the file from my drama school days, and all those mementoes I didn’t even remember. It’s like a death, I decided.

Covered in dust and dirt I reduced the last box and it was done; then I saw a sheet of paper had come loose. I was on the point of throwing it away, then saw it was a psychic reading from the sixties. Mir Bashir was a popular palm reader in those days and everyone went to him for advice and forecasts of the future. He would roll ink over your palms then press them onto fine paper and then read the lines. I was going to have a very public marriage, a writing career, three children. In the nineties I would start a mystical life in Spain and live in the mountains. I would die in the year . . . guess!

All I know is we can strengthen and change what is coming to us by our actions’ thought evolvement.

And I didn’t have three children.


Patterns in the Ether

[The following is taken from The Fortune Seller.]

Against a background of night-time fusion between the city and other realms, I spoke to the lonely looking for love; a new life, magic, their deceased partners. Some needed to talk, others to be cheered up. Was there really a spirit guide out of sight with all the answers? I certainly hoped so because I was a little short in that department.

Then I got three women in a row with the hots for their handymen, and each man putting in a new kitchen. Was it the same with another room or did this nurturing area provoke unsuitable passion? Each woman believed her handyman was in love with her, but the man felt unworthy to say so or shy or worried about his marriage, or hers. I heard about molten, hot eye contact as he installed the oven, the fact he was available at any hour, the energy between them more electric than anything he was putting in that kitchen. Personally I thought in each case the handyman would do pretty well anything to keep the money coming in and if it took molten hot looks they’d be provided. Then I got three women on the trot, all called Frances.

I had to admit there were patterns out there in the ether. I thought it was the guides’ way of playing a joke. The only problem – I had no idea of the guides.

The Fortune Seller

How To Disappear

How easy is it to drop out of sight? By the very act of hiding you draw attention from neighbours and curious friends and otherwise. Money helps. Unless money is part of it and you need to make some to stay unseen. The two-hit singer in my book, The Fortune Seller, said she had to disappear. She was suddenly out of fashion – crashed – but her good life habits were the last to go and she was in debt. She needed obscurity to reinvent herself. She couldn’t take any usual form of work because she was still recognisable.

She discovered that the best way of hiding was to become a chameleon; fitting into an unseen line of work that gave her an identity rarely questioned. A night psychic on the telephone. It couldn’t be more perfect.

You answer the phone, give a tarot reading to a stranger. You are paid by the minute and, if lucky, it pays the rent. You learn to attune to people. You see with your ears. No-one ever sees you  not even the employer. Your voice is all you need and a photograph of someone not you for the ads. You do the employment agreement on the phone and are accepted because of the way you sound. No one knows what you’ve done or where you live. You learn to know people by their voice and what they don’t say. If you pick up enough psychic skills you’re in. You’re safe. Only one obstacle left. Fate. A client recognised the singer’s voice and it almost hit the tabloids. She dropped the tarot pack and left town. It was said, months later, she was hiding out in mid-America singing in a club.



Review of The Fortune Seller

Alan Glassman has been kind enough to allow me to reprint his recent review of The Fortune Seller here:


If you want a fast, one-night read that will keep you awake and guessing until the end, Patrice Chaplin’s latest novel is the book for you. In her rapid fire, sometimes staccato-like style, Chaplin again gives us a candidate for the silver screen. Set mostly in the London environment she knows so well, we are catapulted to and fro in both time and location questioning where we will go next in the adventures of Jesse, a two-time success as a jazz/pop singer who we now find wanting for money and forced to take a job as a “telephone psychic” – a job that, more often than not, keeps her up into the wee hours, just as we find ourselves in reading this thriller.

Employed by a firm that is not always the most supportive and doesn’t really pay all that well, Jesse’s telephone name becomes “Isis”. And, that name, alone, immediately gives us a sense of the wide knowledge possessed by Chaplin of esoteric subjects – subjects that become all the more prevalent as her story unwinds. Told from Jesse’s/Isis’ point of view, and sharing her emotional roller coaster-ride, the narrative reveals to us some inside understanding of how to conjure up a “punter’s” fortune by such methods as reading Tarot cards, deciphering the meaning hidden in the lines of one’s palm, analyzing astrological symbols, and hypnotism. 

In between contemporary struggles with her finances and her lover, Jesse takes us back to the 1950’s and 60’s as we slowly begin to see the relevance of that era to the drama at hand. For those of us who are, shall we say, a bit “over the hill”, we breathe a bit of nostalgia reading names like Frankie Laine, The Platters singing “Only You”, Helena Rubenstein, Jacques Fath, Coty, Chanel, “La Mer”, Woolworths, “Autumn Leaves”, Johnnie Ray, Mario Lanza, The Ink Spots, Mischa Elman, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, Montgomery Clift, South Pacific, Jean Simmons, Stewart Grainger, Ann Sheridan, and James Mason. For some of us, this is truly a trip back in time.

Chaplin, as always, gives us memorable sentences such as this one describing her protagonist’s lonely predicament: “The silence continued through the blue hour and then I seemed to hear the sound of phones ringing and snatches of conversations running one into another in this night world where truth was as hard to find as the spirit guides on a celestial trail through the heavens.” I believe she has a good feel for what we might call “the guru or spiritual business”. Telling the fake from the real is difficult enough when it comes to solid objects let alone mystical dimensions. 

One visual addition to the text that I would like to see is a simple map of London identifying the locations of some of the many spots Chaplin takes us on our journey: Kentish Town, Primrose Hill, Albert Hall, Jack of Clubs on Brewer Street in Soho, Gloucester Terrace, Dean Street, Hampstead Heath, Kite Hill, Paddington Station, Camden Market Road, the Landmark Hotel on Marylebone Road, Dunollie Road, the Park Lane Hotel, Ronnie Scott’s in Soho, Meard Street, and others. She is obviously familiar with them all, but I am not, and I believe it would add an air of authenticity to the story. After all, she does imply the story is based, if even loosely, on real events.

On the last few pages, Chaplin cleverly ties this novel to her previous two non-fiction offerings: City of Secrets and The Portal. Elmore, a much more experienced “reader”, pointing to the middle card in a hexagram array of cards, tells Jesse:

“ ‘That’s the player. The initiate. But she’s no longer there.’ He indicate[s] the Queen of Diamonds on a lower line further off. ‘So she is moving on and away and when she gets to here…’ he point[s] to the bottom edge, ‘it’s over.’…


[It’s t]he gateway. The portal. To the uninitiated it can look like a cage in a series of reflections.’ He stabbed a finger at the central card. ‘This connects here to there. This reality to other states of being. It’s a passageway. Through this the initiate moves to and fro sending ritual signs….Love, threats, or symbols such as the ladder, the sword, the key, a bird waiting. She can activate the past. This life, another life. It’s an abundant passage and a high initiate can go through the gateway to other realms’….


[The gateway or portal] can be an unmoving location on the planet where the atmosphere or skin of the earth is thin and there are sufficient energy pulses and ley lines. There you can have a gateway from this world to other constellations. It is only visible if the initiate resonates with the energy.’…


But she [the initiate] can sometimes produce this space and time transformation in any locale by her attunement.’ ”

So, to interested readers, I say: Enjoy the book. It’s a fun romp into the mystical. And, additionally, for those who have ears to hear, let them hear. 

Alan Glassman

The Seeing of Happenings Not Yet Happened

In my psychic practice I came to realise over the years that it was impossible to forecast time, but possible to see outside linear time. I decided that it is inadvisable to give seasonal or clock-time forecasts, and instead decided to show how events look in relation to each other.

What is the sense of space between each? When giving a psychic reading the seer is outside of time and leaves his or her personal sense of linear passage and is suspended instead in another experience where predictive imprints are received and happenings not yet happened  and which later are confirmed to have just occurred – are seen.

So, in my present time, these events must be identified as future. They are already there and able to be predicted but is it a future identical to this one that we will meet in this, our everyday journey, or in another dimension altogether? Do these two futures join at a common point? Do we find the answer in sacred geometry?

Or is the answer to be found in Burnt Norton by T. S. Eliott?

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.