Catharine Allan wants to show you more than a good time.
The clairvoyant medium, spiritual life coach and artist first began to self-study astrology in high school. She had always sensed the truth behind people’s words and actions and soon began to realize that her intuition transcended the norm.
In her early twenties, she began studying tarot cards and, later, got a job working at a metaphysical store. That led to more investigation and, eventually, she started offering professional readings. Ultimately, she launched River Rain, an umbrella under which she practices intuitive healing in many forms and forums.
Even as she guides others, she continues to educate herself and stock her toolbox. In the course of her career, she has led support groups for women and attended Vipassana meditation retreats, as well as studied and practiced sound healing, chakra cleansing, reiki, Bach Flower remedies, gemstone work and clearing spirits from auras and homes.
Here, she talks to us about why intuitive guidance is serious work:
Live The Process: What type of psychic experiences did you have at a child? Did you find your own ability frightening?
Catharine Allan: In high school, the experiences I had were mostly about being able to see through people’s masks and knowing when they were faking or lying. I could always sense people's true feelings, but, of course, most people won’t admit to those truths, if they even realize what’s true themselves. By the end of high school, I was able to predict people's behavior and relationship dynamics. I would know who would stay with their boyfriend or girlfriend vs. who would break up etc. I was never ever scared. I have been like this my whole life and have found it more sad or frustrating how many people can’t see the truth and suffer as a result.
LTP: How were you impacted when you discovered astrology and, later, the tarot?
CA: My journey with astrology began in a shopping mall at a Chapters bookstore. I was about 15. When we went to the mall and split up, so I was free to roam, I would go read about astrology in private. I was scared to be caught reading the books! I studied it and observed people for years before I told a soul. I think I was about 22 before I said anything about my interest.
The tarot began for me with my boyfriend around that age. He had a deck of tarot cards. I picked them up and never put them down again. I was compelled and fascinated to learn. It was much more direct and intense than astrology in terms of getting a glimpse into current questions. I studied and practiced both mediums for a few years before I started to give readings professionally.
LTP: How exactly does a session with you work? Why do most people come to see you?
CA: My sessions all begin with a guided meditation to bring us into full relaxation, clean and clear the energy field and open to Divine guidance from Arch Angel Micheal. Next, I use the tarot to give a general reading of whatever I see for you. We don’t always come for things that are relevant to us, so we open it wide to see what's around you. Then you can ask me whatever you like.
The most common questions I get are about relationship issues and career issues. Many clients are single, wanting to know about love prospects. Many are in bad marriages and entering into complex separations with custody issues, sometimes safety issues. Career questions usually center around being at a crossroads—whether to quit and change fields or companies, at least. Many people come for mediumship to connect with loved ones and may also come for astrology charts, past life regressions and reiki/ shamanic clearing.
Photo by Dan Bouguer
LTP: You’ve taken workshops that focus on many different issues—from abuse to addiction. Why was this an important thing to do?
CA: People come to me in crisis. It has been essential to my practice as a reader to have the right knowledge to guide them, so I did my due diligence over many years by studying the DSM4, taking courses in mental health, being aware of resources in the city to refer people for legal aid, counseling services, suicide prevention, support groups for addiction and resources for sexual abuse trauma.
People tend to think that readings are entertainment and light, but the reality is that we’re more like social workers with tarot cards, if we have done our own healing and are informed enough to refer people to the right help. A good healer or reader can be a gateway to getting longer term help.
LTP: How has the intuitive landscape changed since you started working?
CA: I started to work professionally in the mid 90s, when the New Age movement was strong and, at the same time, most of my field was still a mystery or a taboo subject. If people came to visit the metaphysical store I worked in, it was a big deal. We all came out of the closet, so to speak. Flash forward and we have had so many movies, books, TV shows and video games portraying the occult and mystical abilities that it has become more “normal.” Now, more often, people come to me and talk about their intuition, psychic abilities and dreams, as if it’s a normal thing. They’re more concerned with what they should be doing about it than whether or not to mention it at all. So, the stigma has lessened a lot, which is wonderful. Now, we can all tap into ourselves and know the joy of trusting ourselves to a high degree.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
CA: Happiness, to me, would be a climate where I can wear sandals and capris and walk to a waterfront or beach with my latte and socialize with people. There would be lots of community and artistic activity in my life, lots of friends and pets, jam sessions and creation of events and performances. My practice and spiritual life would be a daily part of this lifestyle. Having my soulmate there with me would be the ultimate happiness.
Happiness is something from deep within though—daily joy in your life's activities and interactions, a sense of meaningfulness, affection and self expression. This can come anywhere.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
CA: To me, “living the process” is about mindfulness in daily life. You are conscious of your goals and values and do your best to make all choices through that lens, leading you to greater flow and alignment with your purpose. I think writing and journaling are very important in order to keep our goals and values in the forefront, as well as vision boards. Meditation helps us to stay centered, so we can hear our intuition, which guides the decisions we make on a holistic level.