The gift has run in Doreen Marks' family for generations. Her grandparents were healers. She has visions.
It's not something she was taught -- she calls herself a "true-born psychic." She first began having visions when she was twelve and living with her grandparents in Alexandria, La. She ignored them at first, she says, but then noticed they were coming true. She began doing readings for people when she was eighteen. She says she's "very drawn to tarot," but also does crystal ball and palm readings, as well as energy cleansing, meditation.
On Jan. 14, Frances sat down with Marks for a tarot reading. They sit across the table from one another and Marks gives a sort of disclaimer by telling Frances not to take anything too personally -- "I'm only saying what's in the cards." Marks gives Frances the cards to shuffle so her energy is mixed into the deck and then lays the cards on the table in three piles. Frances picks one of the piles and Marks lays the cards out between them. The reading lasts for about 15 minutes during which Marks talks about Frances' son and his family, as well as her health and what she calls "the dark days ahead of us" as a nation. Marks says the next two years will be difficult, and that while President Barack Obama is a good man, the problems are too great.
During a reading, Marks says the client's spirit communicates through her, gives advice to her. It's hard work -- she does no more than five readings a day because it's too draining, she says. Typically, she sees two or three clients, and some of her clients have been with her for ten years.
Marks says it's a successful day when she helps someone get a little closer to solving the problems in their lives. "I've done a good thing that day by leading someone in the right direction," she says, "People want to get up and help themselves, but they don't know which direction to turn."
The 36-year-old mother of three has lived in Lakewood since 1996 when she moved there from Alexandria when her grandparents passed on.
Marks says she's not a religious person by the traditional definition, but the first step she tells people to take in solving their problems is to reach out to God. "I can give people faith when they lose their faith. I can give people hope when they lose their hope," she says. "Let your faith be stronger than your fear."
Her gift is becoming stronger every day, Marks says, and she can't see a time when she would be doing anything other than helping people heal mind, body, and soul. "I'm too far deep in it now; too many people need help," she says, "I have to just follow my mission until it's done -- the end of time, I guess."
Provided by: Kevin Hamm