What It Is: A celebrity tarot card reading by Angie Banicki
Who Tried It: Grace Gavilanes, PEOPLE.com associate editor
Level of Difficulty: If by “level of difficulty,” you mean “level of awe,” it was a solid 7/10
I have been fascinated with psychics, séances and tarot card readings for as long as I can remember.
So much so that I even purchased a cute little deck of tarot cards from Barnes & Noble during a mall outing with friends back in junior high. I’ve used it a handful of times, ultimately deciding that I probably wasn’t suited to give myself a reading. The countless times my cards came to the conclusion that 12-year-old me would one day elope with My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way tipped me off. (For those who are wondering: I am currently in a relationship with someone who is neither in an emo rock band nor wears black eyeliner.)
I was crushed but eventually overcame that little emotional hiccup after discovering the world of $5 readings. You know, the ones in Times Square, on Coney Island’s boardwalk and in similar tourist traps. Yeah, big fan.
I’m not sure why I’m so into them. I hang on to every word, trying to decide if what the reader says is specific to my life and current situation or if they’re giving me the same spiel they’ve given their other clients. I ask questions like a detective on a mission. Or Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder. Once, I even spent the last three minutes of a session asking a psychic about her technique, professional background and whether or not she believed Tupac really was dead. But I digress.
So, when I was offered the opportunity to meet with celebrity tarot card reader Angie Banicki for a 40-minute session, I knew I had to give it a try. Mostly because I’ve never shelled out more than $20 max on a reading/séance or spent longer than 15 minutes with a psychic. It was happening and I was excited … and oddly nervous. My mind was plagued with questions: “What if she tells me something I don’t want to know?” “What if she ends up making me sad for the rest of the day?” and “What if she’s totally wrong about everything?”
I sucked it up and met with Angie in a conference room a few feet away from our office kitchen on a Tuesday afternoon. She’s a really warm, really welcoming person who looked like a seasoned tarot card reader — wearing a flowing dress and toting what seemed to be her trusty bag, which carried her decks of cards and reference books.
Angie — who first started out as an entertainment publicist before turning her hobby of reading tarot cards into a successful career — boasts an impressive list of clients, having read for Lea Michele, Emma Roberts, Usher and at Gwyneth Paltrow’s parties.
When we sat down, Angie immediately reached into her bag for her phone. She found a music playlist, pressed play and lowered the volume.
“I channel through the music, so you’ll hear songs that will only make sense to you,” she told me. “One time I kept telling this girl, ‘Your ex is coming back, and she’s like ‘no’ and then the song changed and [she said], ‘Oh, he’s the lead singer of that band.’ ” Freaky, right?
I experienced something similar but not as spot-on. Following the first mention of my boyfriend’s name, the music took an emotional turn. Alexander’s “Truth” began to play, which prompted Angie to share that the song never failed to make her cry because “it’s about this deep love.” This maybe-coincidence continued throughout our session with “Roses” by The Chainsmokers playing next before the cards felt it was time to discuss future professional endeavors. (I initially asked Angie to focus on “career” before “relationships,” but the first three cards Angie flipped over made it evident that “the cards want to talk about love.”) Oh, and she also says I’m getting engaged in 2019, which I’m not mad about. (Hi, Ameer!)
Other findings: Angie alluded to distance in my relationship, which is 100 percent true; Ameer just started his residency in Chicago while I’m taking on the very important tasks of writing about celebrity babies and my experience as a first-time Tough Mudder participant in New York City. She also says I need to chill out right now. I’m “going through a transformative time” at the moment so it’s okay to let loose (i.e. eat as many appetizers as possible during Applebee’s happy hour) because 2018 is going to be all about “unexpected changes.”
Verdict: I was really taken by Angie’s use of music in our session. I’ve never experienced anything like it. While each session is expensive (she charges up to $300 per session), if I had money lying around that wasn’t of the Monopoly variety, I’d seriously consider going back next year to check in with Angie. I might even ask her about Tupac.