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How Patricia Corkren went from a check cashing business to working as a genuine New Orleans fortune teller One thing Patricia Corkren never predicted is that one day she would be making a living as a professional fortune teller. For the past 12 years she’s been making psychic predictions in New Orleans’ famous French Quarter. Corkren goes by “Miss Patty” at Glass Magick, an art and design store on Toulouse Street, where she makes psychic predictions for people in person and over the phone.
Text: Elizabeth Trovall
Country: United States

lthough Miss Patty spent several years working other, more conventional jobs, since she can remember she’s been able to predict the future.

“Basically, I’ve always had this ability,” she said. When she was young she used to listen to the radio and a song would come into her head. Minutes later she would hear the song she was thinking of on the radio, as if she had predicted it. The same thing would happen with random movies or episodes of television shows.

Miss Patty also would get strong feelings about people. For example, when she was young, she started to sense something dark was following her father.

“I wasn’t a bit surprised when I found out he had cancer.”

Miss Patty couldn’t control her abilities at first. Then her brother showed her how to read regular playing cards.

“So I started dickering around with that. As a gag I would read for a couple of people. And then I would let it go as something I did every once in a while, not serious, like a parlor game.” During her first marriage, Patty’s abilities went dormant. The marriage was unhealthy, Patty says, which is why she could not access her abilities. Two years after divorcing her husband, in 2001, the check cashing company she worked for merged with another, and she lost her job.

What changed her fate

“Something had told me look in the newspaper.” Patty saw a little ad that said “Tarot Reader” with a 1-800 number. She said to herself “what the hell” and called.

“I expected it not to be much, but I tried it — ‘no venture, no gain.’ Turned out to be Bottom of the Cup.”

Bottom of the Cup Tearoom is one of the shops that contracts psychics in the French Quarter.

“And they asked me to come in. And I gave a reading to the lady who owned the place, which was Miss Adele Mullen at the time. She just told me to focus in on her and just tell me what I saw and I didn’t know I could do that but I did. And she hired me.” Since then Patty has been working as a psychic. Now she works for the store Glass Magick, also in the French Quarter. She is satisfied with her new work, though the ebbs and flows of business can be difficult to weather.

Patty especially enjoys helping young people with her predictions. She remembers being lost as a young woman, and if she can help youth get themselves on the right path, she feels she has done a good job.

In addition to predicting the future, Patty also has had some experience connecting with the deceased. On three separate occasions, the dead have spoken to her audibly. “I have a strong telepathic connection, OK, a lot of times I see the gender and personality of the (dead) person following someone else.”

One time during the holidays Patty gave a prediction to a woman who had lost her son in the Iraq war. The dead son spoke to Patty after the session. Patty heard the son say, “Merry Christmas, Patty.”

“That was the best Christmas present I ever got.”

How does she work?

Most of the time Miss Patty focuses her efforts on the living. During weekdays she talks to clients over the phone, and on Fridays and Saturdays, she stays in the shop and gives 30-minute readings. Patty’s reading process generally doesn’t involve many cards.

First, Miss Patty gives what she calls “a pure psychic profile.” “I just basically focus in on them … when I focus in on someone, it’s like in my mind’s eye they are standing in profile. I see things around them, I see things behind them, I see things ahead of them … different symbolisms, different colors, different feelings, different emotions, the nature of certain things, certain people around them, whatever they are going through, there’s a lot of empathy involved there.”

In addition to giving a psychic profile, Miss Patty will also allow clients to ask questions about people in their lives. Many times the women Miss Patty sees will ask about the men in their lives. In these cases, Miss Patty will focus on the man’s name and his motives toward her. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not so good.

When the man is an abuser, Miss Patty sees the person spewing poison or sees bee stings around the person. When she sees negative signs, she’ll advise the person to get out of the relationship.

“I had warned this woman’s daughter to stay away from a particular guy because this particular guy was in trouble with the law. And if she did not get away from him she would have gotten caught with him.”

In this case, Miss Patty saved the family quite a bit of pain. The family of the young woman called back after the reading. She dumped her boyfriend and she had gotten out of the relationship just in time to avoid jail. Moments like that are nice for Miss Patty, when the person listens. It’s clear talking to Miss Patty that she sees her clients as people, not merely customers. She enjoys helping people, and relies on empathy a lot in her job. In fact, in many ways Miss Patty is a kind of counselor. Though it’s not the steadiest job, it gives her satisfaction. “I don’t expect to make a fortune with this. You know? We have our good times. We have our slow times. That can kind of be unnerving. I really do love to give some people peace of mind if I can.”

Facts – New Orleans Fortune Tellers
  • The best neighborhood to find New Orleans’ fortune tellers is
    in the historic French Quarter, or “Vieux Carré,” the city’s
    oldest neighborhood.
  • The French Quarter was founded in 1718 by the French governor
    of Louisiana, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville.
  • The French Quarter’s Jackson Square contains a famous row
    where several tarot readers and palm readers sit in chairs and
    attend to the curious
    visitors to the city. Other fortune tellers work in nearby specialty shops.
  • Much of the architecture in the French Quarter today is Spanish.
    The area’s original French
    architecture was destroyed during a fire, leaving the Spanish
    to rebuild when they
    ruled the city.
  • Jackson Square became a haven for fortune tellers
    in the 1960s and ’70s when modern paganism
    spread to the area.
  • New Orleans’ history of spiritualism and magic is rooted partially
    in African and Haitian Voodoo practices.
  • One of New Orleans’ most legendary practitioners of magic is
    Marie Laveau, a Louisiana Creole Voodoo queen who died in 1881.



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Becoming Miss Patty .

Patricia Corckren was a normal person, but one day she decided to become a fortune teller and now she calls herself Miss Patty. When she was little she never knew this would be her future. She had a normal life and had conventional jobs, but she always knew she could predict the future. When she was young she knew what song was going to play on the radio and she often had strong feelings about people. She claims she sensed something dark following her father and later he got cancer. She could not control her abilities when she was young, but learned how to do so when she was older.

Her abilities did not work while she was unhappily married. However, 2 years after her divorce she lost her job and felt she had to look in the newspaper. There she saw something that would change her life, it was an ad for a Tarot Reader. At the interview the owner of the shop asked her to read her fortune and she was so impressed she hired her right away.

Miss Patty has been reading fortunes for 12 years and in addition to predicting the future she also can communicate with the dead. She knows she won’t get rich from this job, but she enjoys it, especially when she can help people with her predictions.


 

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