I'm being told about the future of my career over Skype. It looks changeable, but relatively rosy.
I'm also being advised where to buy an investment property (Melbourne is preferable, South Australia less so – it isn't moving at the same rate), with predicted negative gearing rates to boot.
But this isn't a professional mentoring session. Nor a session with my financial advisor. It's a psychic reading. And it's being done by "vibrational healer" Nevine Rottinger. She's one of a number of 'intuitives' who provide psychic, clairvoyant and astrological advice to senior professionals on work matters.
The vibrational healer
You may recognise Rottinger. She gave to BBY Chairman Glenn Rosewall. For four years, he allegedly asked her for wealth clues in the stockbroking firm's astrological charts, and guidance on corporate deals, hiring and firing decisions and employee budgets.
Rottinger last week gave evidence in a public examination of BBY's demise in 2015. $61 million was owed to clients – the largest failure of an Australian stockbroking firm since the financial crisis.
I'm getting hot English mustard coming through as a vision.
This week, though, Rottinger is back to her Skype psychic sessions. I'm surprised she'd prefer to do a Skype session. I'd suspected this was one ancient, sacred area technology couldn't disrupt and face to face would give her more of a sense of my, I don't know, chakras.
She tells me she no longer does face to face readings for individuals – after 30 years of doing so, it was draining her energies. Now Skype and telephone readings allow her to reach new, overseas clients. Before me, she did a phone reading for a woman in Britain.
Accurate or acute?
A packed bookshelf backdrops my Skype session with Rottinger, who seems surprised I'd like the video on; usually she'd do the reading without. She picks a tarot card for me, the Chariot card, which she flashes to the screen.
She animatedly tells me I work too much and this card means I need to stop busting a gut and get more balance in my professional life. As I'm writing this at midnight, she starts off accurately enough.
When the Skype screen freezes after 15 minutes, she dissuades me from hanging up and calling back, saying she knows my energies by now and has enough to summon her visions. As she says this, my face is frozen in my poker face and hers is half off screen.
What made sense
There were a couple of spookily accurate things. She correctly told me I work in an office of four, with two females and one other male. Four should be five, she said. Correct.
We recently said goodbye to one staff member and indeed shrank to four. I'm overworked and underpaid, apparently – so if the visions could pay the boss a visit, I'd be grateful. According to Rottinger's visions, Sydney's housing bubble won't burst, but if I buy an investment property, I should consider the CBD or by the ocean, preferably in Victoria – that'll make me the most money.
What was wrong
On many things, though, her visions were way off. I'm the second or third son, she said. I'm the first, I correct her. "That could be symbolic, then – your younger sibling pushed you aside a bit in terms of the attention?" I remain poker-faced and don't tell her how shy my sister is.
"I see wedding bells in the next 18 months for you and your partner", she says, which seems unlikely –we're a same-sex couple and at the current glacial rate of politics that, frankly, seems optimistic. "Your partner's darker?" she half asserts, half asks me. "No" I respond and am told that could also be symbolic – his moods could be darker whilst mine are lighter.
"You've had allergies or food intolerances, or eczema or asthma?" – the tone becomes quasi-rhetorical again. I've had none of the above. Oh and my Dad really ought to see his doctor about those varicose veins. My Dad died two years ago. Without varicose veins.
Seeking work-related clairvoyant guidance
Daily psychic advice informs many work decisions for Peter Villis, 66. He's the Director of a Property Development firm in South Australia and has sought the clairvoyant guidance of Alida for the past 18 months.
He relies on Alida's predictions to "engage people [potential clients] and decide which events to attend." He also seeks her psychic counsel for issues of "self growth and inspiration" and these come via daily texts, charged at a flat rate. For example, he needed to raise capital for a development stream. He needed a financial breakthrough but doubted it'd happen. He received an unsolicited text from Alida predicting it "and five minutes later, [the deal] broke through."
On the phone he tells me she's "never inaccurate, always spot on" – but he hasn't shared with any of his ten clients that he seeks her daily guidance. Doubters are "inconsequential" to him. In terms of payment, on occasion Alida has provided guidance "in exchange for marketing advice" from Villis.
The Esoteric Chaperone
Funnily enough, Alida answered my call out to interview psychics on a website matching journalists with sources. Alida Fehily describes herself as an "Esoteric Chaperone." She says that 60-70 per cent of questions from her clients are work related.
"There is so much concerns about employment and finance" she tells me.
Are the senior exec clients she sees discrete, or transparent about seeking her 'chaperoning'? She says: "They're quite open and intuitive. They're not going to waste their time unless they feel I can help in some way."
"I saw a weakness in her sales funnel"
Businesses make up around two-thirds of Denise Litchfield's readings. Her clairvoyant method "looks into the energy around their business and sees if a project needs tweaking."
For example, "I spotted an omission in a woman's email sequence that saved her thousands. Prospective customers were signing up, but then not going anywhere, because the automation sequence wasn't quite right. When I pointed it out, she later contacted to say she managed to retrieve all 1500 leads and many bought her program."
It's time for me to pay $150 for my reading with Rottinger but, just as she asks for my card's expiry date, she stops. "Do you put lots of mustard on your sandwiches?"
No, I reply.
"I'm getting hot English mustard coming through as a vision."
I'm British, so I cheekily ask her if it could be symbolic of a hot Brit. My poker face has slipped now we're nearing the end.
"I don't think so" she responds, somewhat cuttingly. "Sometimes the visions are a bit wrong."
Would you see a psychic for business advice? Let us know in the Comments section.