Although she’s made a career out of her passion for the mystical arts, UT alumna Kate Braun says being a psychic isn’t anything like what Hollywood makes it out to be.
For over 40 years, Braun has been a professional psychic. She even returned to UT at one point to teach an informal class on beginning tarot readings. Braun said tarot reading is her specialty, although she also practices palm reading and rune casting, a method of using runic symbols to answer questions. Braun said her ability is a gift that was revealed to her on accident.
“My first husband had a friend named Clarence, who he introduced me to,” Braun said. “He was an old man, and his parents were spiritualists. He would talk a lot about mysticism, numerology and tarot, and I became interested, so I started reading and practicing. I realized I had a gift for it.”
Braun said this gift is not the unattainable, mysterious thing that movies portray it as, but it is instead something many people may actually have a talent for.
“I think more people are psychic or metaphysically aware than they want to give themselves credit for,” Braun said. “Of course you can memorize and read things — anyone can do that — but the level of how well you do depends on your innate ability, how open-minded you are and how prepared you are to commit to practicing.”
Appointments for a reading over the phone or a reading at a private party can provide anything from clarification on her clients’ issues to validation of choices they’ve recently made, according to Braun.
“My clients are all curious,” Braun said. “They come in asking for insight or a sense of direction in their choices. Of course, some want me to predict lottery numbers, but I always have to tell them I’m not a number person. If I was, I would’ve won it myself years ago.”
Braun also offers a self-paced online course on her website. The course is a modified version of the class she taught years ago at the University.
“It was three two-hour classes. The first class was lots of memorization and covered the suits of the cards,” Braun said. “The next class was review and also went over the greater trumps, and the last class delved into practice readings and issues of disclaimers. Psychics are not all knowing, and interpretations can change over time.”
Braun said her classes also cover deeper ideas like becoming comfortable with one’s personal deck or constantly continuing one’s exploration into tarot. She believes that these things have made her a successful psychic.
Some may be disappointed that the popular trope of the mysterious psychic operating in a musty room with a crystal ball is, as Braun would say, a fantasy. However, Braun said people should know that tarot is an accessible way to clarify troubling thoughts or questions about life if one sets aside the time to practice.
“I want to stress that there is no right or wrong way to read tarot,” Braun said. “I always told my students not to read the same way I do. You have to follow your own path, and let your intuition guide you. It makes the reading unique to you, and it won’t make it any more or less valid than anyone else.”