An Intuitive’s Collage Reading for a Blogger

My Finished Collage

I was here at the ARE* in New York City psychic fair for just one thing. I wanted to have a meeting with a woman, Frances A. Smolkowski**, who made intuitive readings of people using the art form of collage. My close friend, Wendy, had an intuitive reading with her last month and described the experience as truly unique and “remarkable” and yet was unable to articulate why. Wendy is never at a loss for words or insights, so I knew that this was something I would have to experience myself.

The readers today had volunteered their time and proceeds were to benefit the ARE organization. In the large room, I could hear all of the various palm readers, tarot card readers, astrologers and Reiki healers talking. The room had been partitioned off with folding rice paper screens but I heard snatches of advice from angels and some poor woman was destined to end her relationship according to the death card. I hovered near Frances, the collage intuitive, who was in the corner with a client. It was time for me to have my reading. I was told by a volunteer that she would be running overtime and was asked if I would like to have a tarot card reading instead at this time. “No!” I cried (and I might have stomped my foot). “I want to have my reading with Frances. It’s the only reason I came here today!”

But waiting for Frances was taking too long (so far it was only five minutes). I could barely contain my excitement. I wavered between telling Frances that she was running over (I was sure that she did not know) and not wanting to make her mad at me for interrupting. I settled on peeking my head to the side of her screen with a questioning look. Frances lifted her head up to me and said “I am finishing up shortly”. I couldn’t hide my type A behavior from these psychics for too long. Of course, I was already making my self an “easy read”. However, I was to discover that this was not at all what Frances was about.

Frances was still cutting paper for the person hidden behind the screen. At what seemed to be a snail’s pace (Frances reminded me later that this was only my perception), Frances finally led her client out and ushered me behind the screen. When my impatient body sat down, I looked across from me and saw a woman who clearly did not easily get ruffled. She calmly said “I may be running overtime but I promise you that you will get all of your time – or at least what you need to have.”

Frances explained that she was creating a collage for me “My collages are beacons and also energetic bridges from the present state of functioning to the desired new state of preferred experience. They let folks experience in the present the energy of their fulfillment”. This was for the future not the past. Frances was an intuitive healer or empath.

She placed a solid blue block of paper on a folded card. This was the foundation and color that was right for me. Blue is the color that is “about communication…throat chakra, speaking & writing. It also represents a clear sky, as in space without challenges, inclement weather, so to speak. It is right for you as it sets a tone of clear communication, that joyous blue sky feeling”

Next Frances started cutting out the most gorgeous golden pieces that looked like sun rays. She explained that these represented “OUTPOURING” they were my need to express myself creatively. Frances said that I had a lot to say and express…perhaps with writing or painting.

The golden rays were placed in a special order by shade and she told me that this was my need to “PRIORITIZE”. At this point, I asked Frances about blogging as an appropriate venue for self-expression. She loved blogging and noted that with blogs “there is an audience.”  I told her that I already had a muse. I write my blog for him and he is my audience.

Intuitive College
Frances Smolkowski cutting my collage


I explained my belief that creativity comes from conflict. There is yearning for the unattainable and in the conflict and pain comes the art. “How 19th century!” Frances commented. (Frances later explained that there are newer models of new models of creativity coming from joy and not conflict.) I explained that the creativity, for me, comes from the chase, it was (for me) like shopping for the perfect thing. Frances agreed that shopping was a good metaphor but she saw me creating an original item as opposed to just looking from a set of existing items in a store. “Ah ha but that is where I begin to create” I exclaimed! “If I can’t find what I want, I make my own thing with what is available”. Frances suggested that I could make the “manifest an uncatchable muse, if you need or want it to be that way.” This is something that I will need to evaluate at great length.

I noted that she was not gluing any of the pieces down. She replied “I only do that when we are sure that they are in the right place. Some people can even feel it when I put the glue on. Others are so sensitive that can feel the colors and me cutting the shapes.” At this time I asked if I could take some pictures for my blog and she said “Not yet. I want you in the here and now” ( She did seem to get me)  Next she cut out a cup of blue and pink and said that these were feminine and playful. She said could see that I had a childlike delight (she really did get me). Frances explained that my approach was to take the serious matter and use irony, dry humor and play in getting my point across (Okay how did she know?) which she added could be very effective.

Frances added a handle to the cup and firmly added a fastener to keep the handle from slipping. The handle was the key to keeping control. We discussed how much more efficacious a bucket was than a cup for any kind of OUTPOURING. Frances affirmed that I was the kind of person who was most alive when I was giving. Others need to fill their buckets but I had more than enough to give and did not run the risk of going empty.I would always be happiest giving. I would continue to be sustained with the material: money and health as long as I stayed in line with my purpose. She advised me to keep the collage on my desk and meditate on it to keep me focused. Frances, I am so glad I finally took a picture because I lost the collage under the clutter on my desk. I hope I can still manifest my dream***.




* A.R.E. is the Association for Research and Enlightenment is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 1931 by Edgar Cayce

**More information on Frances A. Smolkowski can be through her

*** As for losing my finished collage under clutter…here is what Frances has to say: the collage as a thing operates as a portal or facilitator for you to reconnect to the positive feelings you had in the session…so you can perpetuate and extend the positive feelings & metaphors. You can reconnect by remembering the image, even if you lose it or destroy it. The art object is a tool to accelerate manifestation of positive things, if you choose to use it in meditation. But, you don’t have to ever look at it again. Some people use it by feel and sit with it, eyes closed. Others use it for focus by drawing the outlines of the shapes with their eyes or staring at an element they particularly want to manifest…like the handle for control. So, no joke, you can bury yours anywhere….and it can still work for you!!

Previously published on Open Salon November 23 2011 as Snarkychaser

The Intuitive

Photo by Gantas Vaiu010diulu0117nas on

Last Friday, I was in the orthopedist office with my daughter for yet another rugby  injury. To pass the time we tried to spot all of the models in this month’s Marie Claire who looked like David Bowie. My daughter criticized the fact that I passed all of the political and sports articles. To spite her, I started reading (out loud) the article on the new breed of psychics who have re branded themselves as intuitives. One of the intuitive -to the stars- helped a former newscaster start her own business and write a book.

This was my psychic! Sixteen years ago before he became famous, I went to see him. At that time, he told me that I would start my own business and be in high demand. I would also write and that people from all over the world would see my work on the computer. I had seen him on the suggestion of friend, who had just sold a treatment to Disney. I suspected then, that this psychic must have assumed that I was a writer because my friend was. After reading theMarie Claire article, I had a nagging feeling that perhaps it was possible that most people wanted to write books and start their own businesses. However, for me sixteen years ago, nothing could have been further from the truth.  When I told him that I was not a writer, he did make the suggestion that I might be an accountant which was, and is, laughable.

What is more laughable (and sad) is listening to the tape that we recorded 16 years ago. I had saved it in a box in my closet and listened to it that night after reading the Marie Claire article.  I not listened to the tape in the ensuring years. Over those years, I just remembered a few of his predictions for my future:

1.      I would be very comfortable financially. This has given me much comfort over the years. When I worried about money, I just remembered that I was supposed to be rich and was not meant to be poor. The worst part about not having money is worrying about not having it. It helps to know that it can magically appear at any moment.

2.      That I would have two kids. At the time that I saw the psychic, I had a seven month colicky baby and was determined not to try it again. I believe that my words to him were “She is very colicky and difficult. Could she be reincarnated from a war torn country?”  The psychic was adamant that I would have two loves. I suggested that it might be two husbands but he was sure that they were children. After six more years, the memory of sleep deprivation wore off and I did have another baby. I think I suggested to my husband that our destiny was to have two children so we should not waste any more time.

3.      I was really reincarnated from an alien race. Eventually I would come to understand this more. This must explain why I have been unable to participate in past life regression exercises. Everyone else has so many fond memories of ancient Egypt and I just get leg cramps.

What I actually heard on the tape, aside from the three predictions that I remembered, was a man grasping for information from me. I never told him what I did and after 30 minutes, he said “I still don’t know what you do”. In fact, listening to the tape made me cringe because so much of what was said was off the mark.

In the tape, I also stated quite clearly that the reason I came to see the psychic was to find out where I should move. I hated the house that I was renting and did not feel “safe”. I used the word “safe” and the psychic jumped on the need for me to resolve “trust” issues.  I am sure that trust issues  are a safe bet for most people, however in my case, I really felt that the suburbs were isolated ,creepy and unsafe without the safety of numbers. The security and fire alarm went off constantly during my three years in that rented house. The owner had done his own renovations and I think he may have done a poor job with the electrical system. Someone even jumped through the open bottom window and took my purse early one morning when he must have seen that I walked up the stairs. It was a beautiful old house in a neighborhood that had seen better days. We got to live there for the bargain rate of $800 per month on the condition that we would take care of it.

The psychic suggested that I clear the “bad energy” out of the lower floor. I could use sage, fresh flowers, prayer and ammonia. The house was not evil but had vestiges of bad energy. I would grow to love the house, according to the psychic, and then we would move in two years to another state to a house that we heard about through family. We did move in two years- to a house two towns over in the same state – and we used a realtor. The couple who owned the house did have bad energy and divorced as did the owners prior to them. I did not ever grow to love the house; however, I do see that I could have been more positive about the whole adventure.

What the “intuitive” did do was to give me comfort at the time. I would be rich and we move soon. I also had some power to change my environment with a little cleaning. In retrospect, I think that the thing that I needed most was an attitude shift about all of my sudden life changes. It is ironic that I actually am more willing to believe a psychic than I would a therapist. I mean anyone can become a licensed counselor. How many people are in touch with their spirit guides?

I wish that I had never pulled out that tape after all of these years. I would really like to believe that my “intuitive” was right. The few things from that meeting that I did selectively retain, was all that I needed to remember (except maybe the alien part). Besides with Open Salon, people from all over the world are able to read what I write on the computer so maybe he was right after all.

house in plainfield

Our rental house for $800 a month in 1996.

Previously appeared in Open Salon August 1, 2012.