Patricia St. James is late to our interview. She was caught in Los Angeles traffic after seeing a physical therapist. She has been having back problems from a car accident a few months back. It was a hit and run. Probably because of her age (she’s an elder), the guy assumed she was frail and sped off after slamming into her.
“Thank goodness I’m a psychic person,” she says in a whispery, childlike voice, one slow and determined, each word carefully chosen (it kind of reminds me of the psychic lady in Poltergeist, if that gives you a better idea). ”Because I found his car a week later.”
We get to talking. I want to know all about her past. In her seventies, she is the oldest person I’ve spoken to, and she trained herself prior to the New Age Movement that made this subject matter more palatable to the masses. Being raised in an extremely closed-minded and abusive family environment sent her on a path of seeking. She had been so severely punished for her “knowing” that by the time she was fifteen, she had investigated every known religion looking to understand her own abilities and find a home for herself. The “blind faith” of mainstream religions just didn’t work for her, so she abandoned them and went to the fringe instead. She says her God has answers; answers she found in metaphysics.
She’s known primarily as an astrologer,a successful one who has done plenty of TV and radio. She tells me astrology, tarot and numerology just confirm things she already knows intuitively. They’re just back-up.
She tells me with total certainty that we all have destiny paths, ones she can sense and also see in astrological charts, and that things are mostly fated. We have some latitude insofar as the choices we make. We can choose to be kind. We can choose to be conscientious. We can choose to have a good attitude, to have a nice day when we wake up in a bad mood. Day to day, we make plenty of decisions, but things like breast cancer, for instance, are points of fate. She says it has been written; most things have.
Wait, I say, the guy ODing somewhere is following his life path?
Yes, she says, he is. She quotes the Stones: “Just as every cop is a criminal/Every sinner a saint.” Each person has within them the unlimited potential for both the wonderful and the base, the light and the dark, she says, and don’t ever forget that.
Later when I’m watching Boardwalk Empire, someone will question the conflicted and sociopathic Jimmy as to why he is the way he is, and he will reply, “I am what time and circumstance have made of me.” I will think to myself that the theme is repeating itself.
I ask her about young souls vs. old souls. Does she think people who walk criminal paths are younger souls? Her “no” is so intense and immediate that I feel terrible for asking the question. The life path a person is on has nothing to do with the maturity of their soul. An old soul is just as capable of being a drug addict or a criminal as a young one. On the other hand, she says many people walking around are like 3 year olds throwing constant tantrums. These younger souls cannot discern good from bad, and aren’t interested in seeking knowledge with regard to their destiny paths. Their lack of curiosity and willingness to accept things at face value is the true mark of young soul, not the outside issues that are beyond our scope.
Our life path is decided by a combination of factors, such as lessons we need to learn and karma. This is why we should have the utmost compassion for people walking very difficult roads. This is perhaps the most profound thing I take from Patricia, this sense that we are all capable of many things, that we are cogs in a machine, all with a purpose. Her take is that understanding what’s in store for us can help ease the pain of what we cannot control, and can lead us to make better decisions about the things we can.
This perspective makes it impossible to dismiss someone as a loser or a douche bag, to minimize their experiences, and instead forces us to examine the nuances and circumstances that have led to certain behaviors. We come into the world with a soul that has been informed by all of its lifetimes, and is further molded by experience in this life, but we can all be reduced and diminished by pain and struggle.
The rest of what she says falls in with what most of the psychics have told me: the other side is an amazing place. She has experienced tremendous love and kindness there. We have guides and angels. She, like Fahrusha, believes these are likely inter-dimensional beings. She also believes in soul mates, but says not everybody has one, and that if you meet them, you will know it. Again, she speaks of Earth as school; kindergarten, actually. When we die, we go to grade school, high school and so on. We experience love, peace, harmony. People who have been abused or abusive are loved until they again have the potential to be loving and generous. This is the resting period between lives. She believes in past lives because she does past life regressions and has come up with verifiable names and dates. She doesn’t hesitate. That, she knows is true.
Patricia St. James has filled me up with sadness and compassion about the human condition we are all managing. In her ethereal yet somehow edgy way, she has schooled me about judgment, and humbled me, too. Patricia has reminded me of the simple and apparent truth that we are all connected.
Patricia St. James can be contacted at patriciastjames.com.