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October 30, 2006

The psychic won't see you now

In Calgary, CEOs, oilmen and socialites wait six months for a session with Tyrrell Clarke

REBECCA ECKLER

There's a six-month waiting list to see Tyrrell Clarke. At one point, she was so booked up she didn't pick up her phone, return messages or take new appointments for four months. Clarke isn't a medical specialist, celebrity hairstylist or popular restaurateur. She is a Calgary psychic. Among her clients are wealthy businessmen, high-powered CEOs, land developers, oilmen, city personalities and socialites. Clarke is supposedly so good at what she does, she has therapists in the city (including those with medical degrees) sending patients to see her.

"It happens a lot," she says. "I think sometimes therapists will get stuck trying to figure out the root of the problem. I dive in, using the psychic message to get [there]. You know, the word psychic comes with a lot of connotations, like we're scam artists. But now therapists know you have to work with the body, mind and soul. Most medical problems have a soul correlation."

During their consultations, businessmen ask her about their stocks and the horsey set ask her about what their horses are thinking. Most of her high-powered female CEOs want to know about love. The one thing she is asked to do but can't is pick out lottery ticket numbers. "If I could do that, I'd do it for me."

Clarke, who charges $125 an hour, works with tarot cards, but says she also has help from "guides" who only she can see and feel. "The cards are just a tool and a gateway to me. It's like I hear very simple sentences from the guide. When someone comes in, it's like I'm watching a movie in my head," she explains. "When my guides direct me, and I start to know [clients'] emotional stuff, it's a giant release for them. The fact that I, someone who doesn't know anything about them, says something that hits the spot, really gets to them." Clarke tapes all her readings with clients. Often, the referring therapist will then listen to the tape to hear what Clarke said to their patient. "I know one therapist who will even charge for that hour they take to listen to my tape," she laughs.

A buxom blond, with big blue-green eyes and a sweet smile that inspires confidence, Clarke works in a small office with a simple desk. More than half the people she sees end up crying in her office -- there's a box of tissues close at hand.

Now 43, Clarke has known about her psychic ability since she was 12. "There were a lot of occurrences that I just knew were going to happen. It became more pronounced when I was about 14. But back then, I wouldn't have labelled myself a psychic." She grew up an "air force brat" in Alberta. "My dad definitely had to get used to the idea. But my mom was more open-minded."

Twelve years ago, Clarke started to see clients in Red Deer, Alta., but soon moved to Calgary. "Oh, Red Deer. I was like, 'Can please someone have an affair?' It was so boring." She has never had to advertise for business in Calgary -- clients come to her either through word of mouth or are referred by their therapists. Lately, Clarke says she's also been getting referrals from naturopathic doctors and acupuncturists. "When someone has a pain somewhere, I actually feel a twinge where it is in my own body. Or my guide will point to their pain. A lot of people's pain is actually sadness, or emotional pain, but they don't realize it. When that happens, I feel twinges in my heart."

One of the reasons it's so hard to get an appointment, she says, is because she can work only a few hours a day. "I have to stop by four. I'm mentally exhausted. For an hour after I finish, I still feel plugged in, though. All my girlfriends know to call me right after I'm done for the day, when I'm still switched on, if they have questions about their boyfriends or something. Then I need to go have a nap." Being a psychic has had an effect on her social life too. Clarke, who is single, can no longer go out to loud bars or nightclubs, though she loves to dance, because there are just "too many dark energies and it makes me feel wiped out."

Clarke, who is also a painter, will soon be opening an art gallery in Calgary. "But I'll do this until I die," she says of her readings. "People need me and I can't leave them."

And who does the city's most sought-after psychic go to for her own psychic needs? "I'm friends with a few psychics. We'll play the 'three and three game.' They ask me three questions and I'll answer. Then I ask them three questions."

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