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First Person: A Short, Strange Trip to the Other Side

We talked a psychic into predicting Grayson Steinburg's future. Is she for real or a rip off?

 by Grayson Steinberg  published on Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ever wondered what your future has in store? SPM's Grayson Steinberg learned surprising secrets about his future during his visit to the Metaphysical Bookstore in Scottsdale./issues/arts/693532
Ever wondered what your future has in store? SPM's Grayson Steinberg learned surprising secrets about his future during his visit to the Metaphysical Bookstore in Scottsdale.


If Barbara Friedkin's life had gone as planned the former actress would have lived a life of fame and fortune. Instead she makes a living off a more mystical talent: her ability to predict the future.

Friedkin's careworn face shows her years filled anxiety, her hair displaying the earliest signs of graying. A multi-colored tablecloth covered in intricate designs lies underneath a gleaming amethyst. A yellow notepad and pen in wait for her use.

Customers often come to Friedkin wanting to reach those who have died. Friedkin says she can communicate with these individual using her abilities.

Friedkin often ends up crying along with those she reads through the expression of what she calls "thankful sorrow."

"My favorite part is crying with my customers," Friedkin says, "to connect with somebody so clearly that they've come to a healing."

SPM tested Friedkin's psychic abilities by sending me to pay her a visit. As she began my reading she closed her eyes and began praying silently for a few minutes. She opened her eyes and began writing seemingly random scribbles on the notepad. I had no idea how to interpret the writing and frankly neither did she (writing in this fashion is just her way to channel spiritual energy.) I have to admit I was rather skeptical and though some of her predictions were intruiging, I can't help but wonder if some of what she said was determined through intuitive guesswork rather than true psychic skills.

Her prediction: My great aunt Mildred may soon be coming to the end of her life and I should expect to hear major news about her soon from my parents.

My reaction: Impending news of a relative's death is very sad no matter how you look at the situation. Although I am not close with my great aunt, it will be unfortunate if she passes.

Her prediction: I should pick up playing the guitar again because "it's good for the girls."

My reaction: This is an old cliche, but it is amusing. My guitar playing skills leave much to be desired and if I could attract fine women by slamming on those power chords, then sure, it'd be a great idea to start playing the instrument again.

Her prediction: I will have some involvement or possibly date an unidentified girl in Tucson. I should "have a good time" if this occurs.

My reaction: I really have no intention in traveling to Tucson anytime soon for any reason. It's a veritable wasteland. Who knows if this will become an incentive? Maybe if she's hot.

Her prediction: I will pursue a Master's degree in an unidentified subject area.

My reaction: This is absolutely true. I do want to pursue a Master's degree, but I have no idea what I could possibly want to study at the graduate level yet. I do have quite a bit of time to decide that considering I'm only a sophomore.

Her prediction: I will pursue a career in broadcast journalism, but I may later teach at the high school or college level.

My reaction: This is wrong on two accounts, at least based on my current interests. I want to focus on print journalism, although I am open to opportunities in the broadcast area as well. I don't think I could ever teach, though. I lack patience.

Her prediction: I will raise two children, but I won't do this until after receiving my MA, because I won't "have the confidence to be in a real relationship" until that time.

My reaction: I think kids are obnoxious and don't ever seem myself raising any. It's probably true that I won't want to get into a long-term, committed relationship that might lead to marriage until I'm at least in my mid-to-late 20s. Who wants commitment in college?

Her prediction: I need to continue pursuing the study of music in some capacity because it's an important part of my life and my soul and "gives [me] an edge."

My reaction: Certainly, I am an obsessed music geek and I love listening to music in all its varied forms (well except country), but with my current time commitments, I really don't see much space to fit actually playing instruments anymore...unfortunately.

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