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by Yvonne Lozano

Dionne Warwick’s Psychic Friends Network at one time employed about 1,500 “psychics” logging an estimated three million minutes a month at about $4/minute. More recently a spate of supernaturally oriented television programing has given us witches, ghost hunters, a medium, and more. TV medium Jonathan Edwards has shown people flocking to his show, Crossing Over with John Edwards, hoping that through him they will make contact with their recently deceased loved ones.

On a local scale, psychics abound along the streets of Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. With fold-out tables or simply sitting on the ground with tarot cards laid out, they wait for the next person to ask one of life’s questions that can be answered by the cards or maybe even by crystals. Just off Kalakaua, nestled in a treehouse in the International Marketplace, up the stairs and past a mannequin displaying contemporary dress, usually red, sits Roxanne Tooher, “World Famous Psychic,” as the neon sign outside her door proclaims.

Tooher’s gypsy-style office fuses modern with antique scattered throughout an assortment of religious images. A gold sash hangs lazily off her mirror just above plastic anthurium flowers that crawl out of an oversized Oriental vase. There’s even the traditional crystal ball, of sorts. It is in fact an unplugged glass globe that, when touched—if it plugged in—provides a ground for electricity to follow ones finger as it circles the glass. It’s the kind of knick-knack you can find at Spencer’s Gifts or just about any mail order knick-knack outlet. A picture of Jesus rests against the globe, and on the shelves, just above the computer, sits a picture of the Buddha.

On most days, Tooher can be found sitting in the enchanted Banyan, reading the Honolulu Advertiser and sipping a cranberry-raspberry Snapple. On Tuesdays, she can also be found on Island 98.5 a.m.’s morning show with Lanai and Augie, when they host “Psychic Tuesdays.”
“ Augie and Lanai are really nice people,” said Tooher. “They tease me, but they’re really good guys.” Being located in the Marketplace, Tooher is aware that she mostly caters to tourists, so she thanks Lanai and Augie’s morning show for the boost in local visitors.

Born in New York, Tooher moved to Hawai‘i after becoming involved in “metaphysical things.” She briefly lived in New Paltz, N.Y., where, she said, she first experienced her “gift.” “I started feeling…really good things,” she said. “It was really wonderful.” Because her whole family is psychic, she added, it was only a matter of time before she would discover her own ability.

Exactly how good is she? Opinions vary, but Elaina Idzenga, 25, who recently moved here from New York City, and who has visited many psychics, was not impressed. Idzenga found Tooher while walking through the Marketplace and decided to get a reading. After reading a menu that briefly describes different kinds of readings, Idzenga settled on a six-month reading, since that is precisely how long she is going to be in Hawai‘i.

Idzenga shuffled the Tarot cards, and as Tooher laid them out, the first six cards were positive, but after that, Idzenga said, the reading quickly turned sour. Tooher read her cards for about a half-hour, but Idzenga claims that she didn’t tell her anything of use or value. In fact, Tooher asked Idzenga, who was wearing a red University of Georgia, t-shirt, “Why are you in Georgia?”
Disappointed by the outcome, and down $30, Idzenga said she would never visit Tooher again. However, Idzenga admitted that she might be prejudiced, because she prefers psychics who confirm what she wants to believe. “I have no idea of Tooher’s psychic ability,” Idzenga said. “I go to psychics because I have an image in my head of what my future is going to be like, and I want them to reaffirm it.”


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