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For the week of September 6 through 12, 2000

Looking for a psychic?

Three valley women say they have extraordinary powers

Express Staff Writer

Divination, clairvoyance, hypnotherapy, metaphysics, astrology and tarot cards.

All this conjures up thoughts of incense and occultism, and may seem like mumbo jumbo to you, or whatever demeaning tagline you wish to attach.

But why should Western methodology be regarded as more believable or trustworthy than Old World, ancient and more mystical methods?

Science is the reason. We like facts and proof.

Consider this, though: Intuition is what has led scientists to poke and probe and experiment. Intuition is, in fact, at the core of all things clairvoyant, and all things rational.

In search of answers, a Mountain Express reporter visited three valley women who claim to have extraordinary powers—in short, they said they were psychics.

Not being a psychic, this reporter had to locate them in a more earthly and pedestrian manner. Looking in the yellow pages yielded no psychics but speaking to a few local counselors did.

Casey Wood is well known around town for her astrology readings, and Iris Barratt had written a book about divination. Theresa Beilenberg is a recent transplant from Seattle and a colleague of Barratt’s.

No scarves around the head, crystal balls, mood music or phony jumping tables come into play during these readings. There is, in this type of reading, no negative information, nor are there predictions based on anything other than an intuitive sense of where a person might go in life.

These are not uncomfortable experiences. Instead, three warm, very casual and happy women led this reporter on a self journey of sorts.


A robust and earthy Beilenberg, 48, spoke about the experiences in her life that both supported her intuitive powers and seemed to oppose them. She was born in Boise into a family that believed in hands-on health and care giving. So strong is this link to her past that she has never stopped being a healer of some kind in her life.

For instance, she has been a sports trainer, a legislative aide to a city council member in the Seattle area, a project manager for the Seattle/King County Department of Public Health, graduate student (at the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Seattle), a mother, and a health and wellness consultant.

Her specialty—what she refers to as intuitive sighting—may be better understood as a kind of mind reading, and was aptly demonstrated for the reporter.

Since she does not yet have an office, the reading took place at a picnic table on a sunny day in a Hailey park. The experience was rather like hanging out with a very chatty and enthusiastic girl friend, who really got everything you were trying to express.

Another current interest of Beilenberg’s is sound therapy, which studies have shown can help cure tinnitus (ringing in the ear), vertigo, anxiety and a variety of other ailments.

The Web site describes this therapy as one "used in hospitals, schools, corporate offices and psychological treatment programs as an effective treatment to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, alleviate pain, overcome learning disabilities, improve movement and balance, [and] promote endurance, strength, stability and expanded awareness."

Beilenberg’s intention is to open a practice using tonal sound therapy in the valley soon.


Iris Barratt palm reading. Express photo by David N. Seelig


Iris Barratt, 45, is a palmistry expert, clinical hypnotherapist, minister and clairvoyant investigator who has located (among other important items) missing children, and is the author of "Divination Workbook, An Expert’s Guide to Awakening the Power and Wisdom of Your Soul." She radiates motherly warmth, and calls everybody sweetie.

The large pink workbook sells well on and has won the Visionary Peacemaker Award from the Planet Peace Project, a grassroots effort that fund raises for undertakings devoted to building global peace.

During the reading, Barratt, who’s lived in the valley for a couple of decades, held this reporter’s hands palms up and seemingly more from intuition than from the hand’s craggy lines, spoke of the reporter’s abilities and needs—spiritual, personal and professional.

She said she wrote her "Divination Workbook" partly to thwart the many requests she was receiving to help find things, by helping people use their own gifts.

"In truth," she said "we are all mystics and healers. It is a natural heritage."

Barratt has more than 20 years of experience in the field of alternative healing arts.

"I want to be able to give people a tool to learn how to ask the right questions," she said, "to determine the most beneficial solutions in every aspect of their lives."


Casey Wood, 45, moved to the Wood River Valley from Washington three years ago. She had been doing astrological and tarot readings in the valley on her frequent visits.

Her present passion and occupation is building a creative community center in Bellevue called The Oak Tree.

Under construction on the second floor of a building on Main Street, The Oak Tree is a haven of workrooms attached by a long, wide hall and has a clear creative focus.

"It’s going to be so much fun to watch people turn on, to watch people get it, how to live a successful life and be whole and happy," Wood said.

The myriad of classes expected to be offered include music, art, dance, weaving, woodworking, textiles and mineral wraps, (a patented mineral body wrap that the makers claim draws out impurities, tightens skin and eliminates inches from the body).

Though the space is not yet completed, there is already a life drawing group, as well as healing body work and astrology readings with Wood.

Visiting artists will teach art and dance classes. There will be a custom cowboy boot maker, who is also a sculptor; a commercial kitchen for cooking classes; an art work showroom; a gallery space and Web site. All of that will be open within a couple of months.

The whip-thin Wood interpreted tarot cards for this reading. She has at least 25 decks but for this she chose just three.

The first, she explained, is a traditional tarot deck. According to Wood, this older deck refers to the pre-paradigm shift in the world. It "gives an idea of how you’re still intersecting with the old patriarchal hierarchy."

(Translation: Those would be the paradigms or patterns that deal directly with society and its rules, rather than our soul.)

The second deck uses astrology and flower essences, and is more earth-based, she declared. "It will show you the same set of energies, [as the above] but through a new paradigm," she said.

An old Mah-Jongg set, (a Chinese game played with etched tiles, in this case cards rather than tiles), was the third deck she used. She explained that those show how "heaven and earth come together through the creative flow of yin and yang." The cards are meant to detail how we play out the energies available to us, she said, not those inflicted upon us.

The reading, which Wood said gives clues to all aspects of one’s life, took about an hour.

At one point she said, "What a nice card to have in that spot," It was a particularly pretty card of a baby lying in a lotus flower with a lion in the background.

Intuition spoke. "Get a mineral wrap," it said.


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