It was 7:45 p.m. on Friday night, and the mystics, hippies and unicorns had begun their migration from camp to the depths of the playa. But instead of jumping on the nearest art car and catching a ride to the trash fence for a dusty dance party, I trekked across Black Rock City to meet a woman named “Galaxy,” or Natalie Villeda, the director of the Berkeley Psychic Institute.

Burning Man 2015 had opened under a full moon, and I figured the lingering lunar energy would make a perfect setting for a psychic reading. Who knows, maybe I'd meet my spirit guide. Or maybe I'd come to the understand the fiery secrets of the universe in life and love. Or maybe I'd see the future. Regardless of what was going to happen, I figured there was no better place to get a reading than on the spiritual grounds of the playa.

After a 20-minute walk in a numbing 41 degrees, I found a group of people basking in the warmth of a fire pit. Drawn to the flames like a freezing moth, I reluctantly asked the group of campers if someone named Natalie was camping with them. Before anyone else answered, a dark-haired beauty enthusiastically jumped up and said, “You found me!” Considering how difficult it is to get around Burning Man without vanishing into the maze of campsites, I felt like I’d won the lottery, despite being 15 minutes late — which in playa time is actually 10 minutes early.

We made our way into the Cheese Biscuit — Natalie’s RV — and sat down facing each other. Natalie’s smile beamed as she gave me the lowdown on how the readings work. “You can ask me a question about yourself, and I’ll look into it further; we’ll look at your aura and see what’s going on there; and I also do past life readings if you want to hear about that.”

Natalie "Galaxy" Villeda, psychic; Credit: Courtesy of Natalie Villeda

Natalie “Galaxy” Villeda, psychic; Credit: Courtesy of Natalie Villeda

I was sold by her genuine nature and down-to-earth personality. “I’m open to everything,” I told her.

“I’ll be looking at your aura and spirit mostly, and calling out the colors and images I see,” she said. “When I talk about colors, no color in my practice specifically means anything. For example, red doesn't mean angry and blue doesn't mean sad,” she said. “It’s more like a pin on like a Google map — it kind of lets your spirit know where to go.”

My mind was blown by that analogy. “I really hope my spirit isn’t as challenged at following directions as I am,” I thought to myself.

“OK, so what I need you to do is put your feet flat on the floor, and repeat the name that was given to you at birth three times in a row,” Natalie said, as she shut her eyes.

“Mary Katherine Carreon. Mary Katherine Carreon. Mary Katherine Carreon,” I said, looking around her warm, impressively dust-free RV. My eyes centered back on Natalie, as she began to giggle.

“You’re vibrating at a very rosy pink right now,” she said. “There’s also some rich reds in there as well. Your aura’s kind of puffed out on top and a little tighter on the bottom. Actually along the top it looks a little spiky. What I see here is that you’ve actually thrown out some protection. It looks like you had some male energy thrown at you and you really didn’t like it.”

My jaw dropped as I thought about the strange, drugged-out dude from earlier in the day who told me he wished I would join his nudist camp as he tried to stroke my head. “Whoa,” I said, letting let out a laugh of disbelief. “Yeah, something like that.”

Natalie laughed, too. “I’ve never seen anything quite like that before.”

As the reading went on Natalie told me that I’ve lived hundreds and hundreds of lives on Earth. She explained like the rings in a trunk of a tree, my spirit showed her an image of a rose with rings inside of a thick stem. “You’ve been around quite a while,” she said, as her closed eyes fluttered.

Natalie dived into one of my past aura colors that shone a deep purple and told me that I was once a dorky inventor. “You did really silly and weird things,” she said. “The things you tried to invent didn’t really fit right.” Essentially, I was thought of as the unique, weirdo-loner by those around me in that lifetime. “What a funny little person you are!” said Natalie.

As the reading went on, Natalie uncovered more and more things about me. “Your spirit doesn’t want conventionality in romantic relationships,” she said. I slapped my palm on my forehead and laughed. “Your energy is so big and shiny, people don’t really know what to do with it. That’s why it’s hard for you to share all of yourself in relationships,” she continued.

I sat there and smiled nervously. “Yeah. I guess that’s about right,” I said.

“You’re showing me gangster pictures right now, like images of the Godfather.” Natalie laughed. “Loyalty is huge; it’s the most important thing to you,” she said. “The level of loyalty from those whom you’ve chosen to be with, although they’ve committed to you in some way, is never on the same level as you.”

My nervous smile shifted to a nervous laugh. “Yikes!” I thought to myself.

About an hour went by, and Natalie wrapped up the reading. “You’re showing me a dolphin blue color. It’s like the color of the ocean,” she said. “It’s interesting because at first I didn’t get why you were showing this image to me, but now it makes sense. There is a sonar beam shooting out of the top of your crown,” she said. “I don’t really know how to say this, but you’re in constant telepathic communication with people.”

My jaw fell to the floor. What I learned from a psychic at Burning Man is that I’m psychic, too. 

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