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Psychic Fair rides into Horizon

Are you feeling a little down? Is your spiritual tank on empty? Then you may want to have your aura checked by a professional.

For $20, Lucille Snyder will fire up the auric camera and check your electrical grid – the energy field that supposedly surrounds us at all times. After a quick Polaroid snapshot and a consultation with a color chart, Snyder rattles off a list of personality traits represented by the energy field in the photo.

“We all have an electrical energy field surrounding our bodies,” said Snyder, waving my Polaroid while waiting for it to dry. “The visuals tell us a lot about our talents, strengths and weaknesses. It’s a window into what’s going on inside.”



Finally my photo was ready, and Snyder presented it to me. Sure enough, my head-and-shoulders snapshot was surrounded by an eerie, reddish-orange light. A trick of the camera, or a window to my soul?

I was hoping for the former – I hadn’t dusted lately, and my soul was a mess.




“You have a strong, creative intellect,” said Snyder, studying the photograph. “That red along the top border means that you are very independent. You want to be your own boss.”

But I wanted to know more. What was the empty channel in the middle of the picture? A bad omen? A blank spot in my soul? Did my spirit have call-waiting?

“You have a nice, open channel,” said Snyder, giving me a comforting pat on the shoulder. “It’s a pathway for your creative intellect.”

Whew. Dodged another bullet.

“In relationships, the girl has to have a mind as well as a body,” she continued. “No airheads for you.”

(Note to readers! Airheads may still apply!)

Snyder, who also performs various other psychic healing functions from her home base in Sacramento, is one of a growing number of spiritual guides in the U.S. – a phenomenon that has in recent years emerged from the fringes of society to nose around in the mainstream. A wide variety of these healing specialists were present over the weekend at the Psychic Fair at the Horizon Hotel/Casino at Stateline.

Call it one-stop shopping for the soul. On hand Saturday were experts in chair massage, tarot reading, cyberstrology, healing touch therapy, aroma therapy and, of course, your standard palm readers and psychic crystal-ball types.

Fair organizer and psychic-in-charge was Laura Peppard, the director of the Reno Psychic Institute. “We put on fairs throughout Northern Nevada, where we can provide space for people to make some income from their interests,” Peppard said. “I operate what I call the psychic triangle: these fairs, the Cosmic Ground newspaper, and the Reno Psychic Institute.”

Some may be skeptical of this psychic-healing culture, but there are many true believers. Concessionaires such as Harrison Morrison, who co-owns Planetary Imprints in Chico, were selling a fair amount of healing crystals, spiritual jewelry, books, cards and incense. And a look around the Horizon ballroom revealed several Psychic Fair visitors exhibiting very emotional reactions to their readings.

“I think that everyone has some psychic ability to a certain degree,” said Debbie Landerkin, a South Lake Tahoe resident and mother of two who also visited the Fair on Saturday. “I’ve had a few experiences myself. I’ve seen ghosts on several occasions.”

Landerkin, who also had her electrical aura photographed, was happy with the results.

“Whose to say that it’s not real?” she said. “All of the things she said about me were true. There was a green hue down on my chest that indicates an open heart.”

Hey, how come my Polaroid didn’t scare up any green? My heart’s as open as any one’s.

For the answer to that and other questions, my next stop was with Miss Terry, the psychic clairvoyant. And this time I was bringing backup – Tribune photographer Jim Grant.

Terry Bauer, a resident of Carson City, is well known in Northern Nevada as an expert psychic and spiritual healer.

“What she can see in you is just amazing,” said her assistant and friend, Linda Gillespie. “She can just touch your hand, and the results are really surprising. She’s the real thing.”

I decided to see for myself. I sat down at her table. To her right were various appliances and ointments, including a timer. To her left was a tiny crystal ball and a small desk lamp.

She took my hands, and rubbed them with a smelly oil she identified as Rosewood. Then she shooed away photographer Grant, claiming that our signals would cross.

Grant backed away, eying us skeptically.

Miss Terry asked me a series of questions about my life, interjecting her impressions and predictions. Was I married? She saw a woman with the initial “C” that would soon be coming into my life.

She told me that my deceased father was my “spirit guide,” and was watching over my every move.

“This information does not come from me, it comes from the individual’s intuitive spirit guide,” she said. “I can see what the spirit guide is saying through the crystal ball, which acts to me as a television set.”

When my 15 minutes were up, I thanked her and left. Photographer Grant then sat down for his reading.

All in all, it was an afternoon of hit and miss. No amazing revelations. Many safe predictions. But even if there was not a single person in the room with actual psychic ability, well, so what? Isn’t there some value in a person that will sit with you, take your hand and listen to you for a while? What’s the harm in that?

And there is one other time when a psychic would really come in handy – when you get to the parking garage, and you can’t find your car, as happened to me on Saturday.

Now, what level was that on? Come on dad, a little help!

Interested in attending a Psychic Fair? Check out the Psychic and Creative Arts Fair on Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Admission is $5, children free. Information: (775) 324-2872

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