Welcome back to DEAD Time. I hope this column will not only share stories of paranormal and unexplained phenomena, but also open up a conversation and clear up some misconceptions about the paranormal, as well as encourage others to share their experiences with an open mind.
For this month’s DEAD Time, I learned a lot and had a fun conversation with Katie Webb about being a divinatrix, reading tarot cards, and using divination tools in paranormal investigating. Make sure you check out Katie’s website to book tarot readings and classes, view her art, and a lot more.
Read on to find out what we talked about…
Bloody Disgusting: I’ve seen the paranormal web series Haunt ME, which you’ve been a part of. How did you first become involved with paranormal investigating?
Katie Webb: It was kind of fate, to be honest with you. I was working at a record store with Ashley, who started the group, and she said, “I have this ghost hunting team that I’m starting, and we want a witch on our team, and I was wondering if you’d be interested.” And I was like, “Yeah, definitely!” Working with ghosts is something that we witches love to do [laughs].
BD: Can you tell me about your most frightening paranormal encounter and how you handled it?
KW: I have had a lot of frightening paranormal encounters, but I think the one that stands out the most happened here in Maine at the Western Cemetery. I was sort of drawn to this area and I went between these trees, and everything turned blue around me visually. I am clairaudient, so I started hearing all these things that were very horror movie-esque. Things like, “Wait until you see what happens when I’m in your brain” and “I want your soul,” and all these classic horror movie things, but very specific to me. One of the things it said was, “I want to penetrate your golden egg,” which sounds sexual, but it’s actually just a meditation I used to use as protection, and I called it the golden egg.
So, that kind of experience made me really scared, but because the cemetery is in my neighborhood, I kept going back, and I kept really focused on that area. It’s been about nine years since that happened and now, I have a really close and great relationship with those specific spirits. I’ve come to learn that that was more of a protective measure on their end. They wanted to scare me, they wanted me to leave because the trust between humans and the spirit world isn’t the best all the time.
BD: That’s so interesting because I know from personal experience that not everyone in the paranormal community has the best intentions and people can sometimes be exploitative when it comes to the spirit world, so it makes sense those spirits would be afraid to trust you. So, it was scary for you because it was so personal and specific.
KW: It was very specific, and it felt like what they were saying could be true. It wasn’t like, “Get out, I’ll kill you,” like sometimes happens, it was very personal. I actually think we ran out of the cemetery that night [laughs]!
BD: You also do tarot readings and classes. Can you talk a little bit about how those readings work, especially for people who have never dealt with tarot?
KW: Sure! Tarot is really interesting, because you can have a lot of different types of readings. You can have people who are really good at reading personal cues, memorize the cards, and kind of know what to say based on what you say to them and what the cards are saying. I think some people look at that as kind of a scam, but that is absolutely a valid way to read tarot cards and you will still get a really good reading from those people. Then you have the more witchy people who are in touch with their ancestors and in touch with other spirits and deities that they work with. So, they will tend to get more of things like premonition-style tarot readings. Tarot cards are basically a bunch of archetypes. Everyone has a different way of reading tarot cards, but the easiest way for the person who is being read to shuffle cards and just put their energy on the cards. That’s kind of the ceremony aspect of it. For the people who are more in tune with different spirit worlds, you will get more premonition-style readings along with the archetypes from the cards. But I’m a big believer that tarot cards help us access our subconscious.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Dr. Eric Wargo, but he has written an amazing book called Time Loops that goes into our subconscious and our memories and why those are so important when it comes to divination. Time Loops blew my mind [laughs]. It’s really interesting because it talks about the assumption that we know everything already, between things being passed down from our ancestors in our bloodline and in our subconscious, and how do we access that. As a paranormal investigator and tarot reader, reading his book hit so many things for me because that is what I was experiencing. The longer I read tarot cards, the less I actually needed the tarot cards. I was able to look at the person I’m reading for and give them a psychic reading without looking at the cards at all. It’s really interesting when you make those connections within your own subconscious and magic in general. I feel like that happens to a lot of people, but it’s hard for me to say because I’m one of those weirds who touches tarot cards every single day [laughs], so I think that’s why I have such an affinity with those archetypes.
BD: I love what you just said, because I think you learn a lot about yourself when you get involved with the paranormal. I know when I started doing paranormal investigations, I learned a lot of things about myself that I had never thought about before.
KW: So much! You see so much of that in the way that people talk about spirits. You see so much of their own personal biases or beliefs coming out in the way they talk about ghosts in general. So, it really does help you break down walls if you want to go deeper, as most people end up wanting to do.
BD: Can you tell me a little bit about the divination tools you use in your investigations and how they help you?
KW: I love using tarot cards in my investigations for a couple of reasons. One, because you can learn the history that is written about a place fairly easily. I like to try to use the cards to get to know the story that hasn’t been written. I feel like there are so many personal stories between people who have lived in certain places or worked in certain places. So, I will try to pull cards to learn more about their story. I kind of got that idea because the more you investigate, the more you realize how much trust is involved. It’s hard to walk into a space and just immediately get consent to be there from the ghosts who are there. So often you don’t have that. If you’re only there for one night, the pressure to gain that trust greatens.
I was on a show, so we were trying to get very specific visual evidence to show people, so trust was such a huge component. So, I found that when I would read the cards and kind of talk about the spirits’ lives and things like that in a more personal manner, the trust was gained much quicker. There is one segment where you can see a ghost pull up a card. So, I would use cards in that way, but I would also use them as a kind of trigger object because there is so much negativity in the past around tarot cards. I mostly like to do it to talk to the ghosts to kind of tell them their story back to them and see if they wanted me to learn more and see if they wanted to pull cards to that we could continue a conversation.
BD: You are a divinatrix. For anyone who might not be familiar with the term, can you talk about what it means and what is involved with being a divinatrix?
KW: I love to throw around that term because I boss my cards around [laughs]. I believe that the cards themselves are nothing without me. I am the magic. The reader is the magic. It’s not the cards themselves that are the magic. We are in control. If people come to me and they specifically want a reading geared on love, since the tarot has five suits and two of those suits have less to do with passion, lust, and emotion than others, I will just leave those suits out altogether. And we will just focus on the exact suits that talk about what you want to talk about. In those kinds of ways, I’ve found that I am in full control of the reading. So, if you want to come and ask me a certain question, if you want cards to answer yes or no questions, we can do all of that. We do not have to let the cards decide. The cards are just cards. We are the magic, and we can decide. That’s kind of where the divinatrix comes in because I’m the boss of the cards [laughs].
BD: So, the cards are just a tool. That makes so much sense to me and it’s fascinating because no one has ever explained it to me like that.
KW: Yeah, I think a lot of people love the mysticism behind the cards, but they’re just cards. I could give you just as good of a reading with a deck of playing cards as I can with a deck of tarot cards.
That’s all for this month’s DEAD Time. I’ve got some exciting guests lined up for future installments, so stay tuned to Bloody Disgusting to find out what we’ll be talking about. If you are a paranormal investigator, expert on the unexplained, or have a personal story involving otherworldly phenomena, and would like to be considered for a story on DEAD Time, please feel free to reach out!
And please remember to leave a light on for me…