Writer’s note: The newspaper who prints my astrology column Shoreview sent me to cover this story, then cut it for “space”. Not wanting to waste anything, including an afternoon of research and writing, I’m sharing it with you.
Once a quarter, the Astrological Society of Connecticut gathers together vendors, astrologers, intuitive readers and body workers in a New Age Fair.
For many people just the phrase “New Age” conjures images of people who are “out there”, maybe a bit flaky, people they are not likely to know, at least not well. But the friendly people at the ASC New Age Fair will dispel this notion.
Among the picturesque 17th and 18th century houses of the historic district of Old Wethersfield is the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center, a late 19th century public school building renovated in 1985 to become the permanent home of the Wethersfield Historical Society.
I met up with Janet Booth, astrologer and, along with her many ASC duties, Fair Coordinator, at the third of this years’ fairs on Sunday, August 18, 2008. While Janet drags about a variety of items to their appointed places, she hands off duties to volunteers and leads me to the reading room, introducing me to one of the Fair’s most popular readers who likes to be known simply as Morningbird.
Morningbird is of Podunk Indian decent, a tribe native to the Harford area. When I said, “then your ancestors were here to meet my ancestors when they came,” she laughed. She told me the story of how when she was a child, her mother would send her to her room when people came to visit. She said she didn’t understand why then, but when she got older, she realized that she “knew things” about people that most people would not know. This made her mother’s friends uncomfortable. Soon Kat Lovell, of Northampton, Massachusetts joins the discussion. Kat’s day job is hypnotherapist, working with people on weight and stress management and fertility issues. But at this fair she is working as a tarot card reader. We talk about how other people find it difficult to relate to psychics as people. Dating, Kat tells me, is especially difficult since either, a date will turn off or through curiosity wants to test her gift. Kat is energetic and entertaining, and soon we are all having a good chuckle at her latest relationship encounter. The ladies gave me their cards and asked for mine. Kat chided me for not having any with me. Really, I protest, I am here to do the story, but I scribble down my contact information for them and go off to meet the vendors.
Against the backdrop of ultra high ceilings, tall windows and hardwood floors typical of a 19th century building, vendors set up in the main meeting hall. I say hello to Emile DeLeon of Knight People of Middletown, CT. Emile, who among his talents lists musician, astrologer, numerologist and intuitive reader, today is playing the part of shop owner, setting up a selection of books, CD’s, statues and Tibetan singing bowls on his table. Emile mentions that he feels the need for some coffee and I tell him I’m here today to write this story. Typical of Emile, he says he remembers my face but not from where. I remind him that I shop in his store from time to time.
I say hello to Charlie Edgarton, an astrologer and ASC member. Charlie and I had quite a spirited discussion the last fair, and again, I hear that he remembers my face and not my name. Charlie sets up apart from the main group of readers. He prefers to give ten-minute introductory readings for which he charges $10. With him busy setting up his table, and running a little bit late, I promise him that I will come back later, wrangling a reading from him. Knowing that I am an astrologer too, he seemed reluctant to give me the reading. He did well, zeroing in on a failed partnership (true) and that I would be having a confrontation with a woman at work this coming week. The friend who came with me laughed when she heard this, knowing my penchant for directness often ruffles some feathers.
My friend and I peruse the other tables, looking at beautiful handcrafted jewelry, hand made soaps, aromatherapy kits, hard to find books, art items and polished stones of all sizes. We stop and talk a bit with Maia Lynd, who will draw for you a charming picture of your spirit guide (guardian angel) and write a message that your guide has for you on the picture. This is an unusual gift, but I decide not to pony up the $30 for this. However, my friend does and she comes away with a picture, the name of her guide, and a dead-on personal message from him.
I talked with Susan Chan, who does body massage for her clients, which she has done for the past twelve years. She doesn’t need to advertise, she says, because she has enough regular clients to keep her very busy. She promises the best massage ever. At a dollar a minute, her fair massages are a bargain. I opt for ten minutes and got relaxed enough during it to ignore the urgent ringing of my cell phone. “Forget that,” I think, “this is too good to interrupt.” In the background, as Susan worked out the kinks in my back muscles, Ngoma with his traditional Australian aboriginal instrument, the didgeridoo and Maria Menut with a Tibetan singing bowl play a melodic melding of the sounds of these ancient instruments.
There are also a series of free lectures at 11 a.m. that continue during the day on a variety of subjects. On this day there were lectures on animal guides, astrology, meditation, numerology and meditational music.
The most popular aspect of the fair, however, is the readers, who represent a broad base of gifts. Astrologers, tarot card readers, numerologists and psychics are represented among over twenty select readers. Readings are twenty minutes in length, for twenty dollars. You need to arrive early though if you want to speak with Morningbird or Kat, as their time slots fill up quickly since they are so popular.
The next fair is on Sunday, November 16, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it includes the ASC’s used book sale. Admission is always free. You can find out more information about the fairs and the Astrological Society of Connecticut by going to their webpage http://www.myasc.org. With a relaxing atmosphere and friendly people, it’s a great way to spend a day and lift your spirit!