I was clairvoyant from my first thought, and, as a child, supposed everyone was.
It came as a surprise when I was told I couldn’t know the things I did, and I’d better talk about something else.
When I was 16, my friend Beryl and I hitched through Spain on a marvellous travel of pure freedom. Nearing Andalucía we wanted to find the Flamenco Gypsies who were located in five villages around Seville.
They had never seen ‘on the road’ young girls like us, and I thought our reception could go all ways until the grandmother called for me to come forward and she said that I was ‘the Savia’, the one who sees and knows. She taught me to divine by the signs of nature: the cry of birds; the change of a south wind; the language of the shadow.
Later I did remember the warning of the birds – it saved my life. She also said never read cards on anything but a wooden table – it would absorb the bad energies that might be stirred up by a reading. Later, I learned how to read cards from Myra who owned a dress shop in West Hampstead. She used ordinary playing cards and I recall the sayings: ‘Aces red; a love bed,’ and ‘Two black knaves and a king; not a good thing!’
Many clairvoyants in the sixties learned their trade from Myra. I worked on and off in Hollywood and clairvoyance crept back into my life. I read palms and cards for people in the industry. Through screenwriter Ivan Moffat in the early sixties, I met Marlon Brando, who liked parlour games and became intrigued by cards and their meanings. Ivan disbelieved utterly in clairvoyance, but couldn’t explain how the cards showed a phone call leading to a broken marriage. But it happened and I had seen it. ‘So you have a bad day – why know about it in advance?’ he would say.
Brando did not follow that reasoning and liked readings from the plain cards – not Tarot – especially the old system like ‘the Grand Star’ or ‘the Surprise’.
The word Christian crept up four times in a row, and I thought he’d become religious. But he’d met Christian Marquand, the French actor/director– and he called his first son after him. Later my first son was called Christian, and much later Roy Scheider, the actor from Jaws, choose Christian for his first son.
When I next met Brando in 1966 – during the filming of A Countess from Hong Kong, directed by my father-in-law, Charles Chaplin – he had come to the end of the first part of his career and was in a dip that he could not have foreseen. Even the exotic women around him who could forecast aspects didn’t get that one. Regarding my card readings for him in Alvaros (the restaurant in London’s Chelsea where the famous went to eat in the sixties), I remember two things: one, an island which he would reach, and, two, that his career would come up, bigger than ever. Even I thought it was unlikely as he went on to make a few, as he said, ‘bow-wows’, like Candy for Marquand.
But then came The Godfather and he didn’t look back. And he did buy an island! From clairvoyance I went on to transformation, which lead to The Portal, and that is the beginning of privilege.
My latest novel, The Fortune Seller, explores the world of clairvoyance and card reading in detail. Find out more…