carefully unfolds items wrapped in a dark piece of velvet. One by
one she methodically places each article on the table. First is
a deck of Tarot cards. The back of every card is black; their edges
frayed and bent from years of use. “My seventy-eight friends
who travel everywhere with me,” she grins. Next is a black
and red stone, the word ‘magic’ carved in gold on it.
“To remember there is magic,” she quietly informs me.
There is a piece of beach glass from Salem, Massachusetts, a blue-green
Labradorite gemstone and a large Amethyst always kept with the deck,
“It burns negative energy.” The final object is a small
silver dolphin leaping in an arc from the sea. “This is important
to me, I swam with the dolphins in Key Largo. They are huge, very
gentle creatures,” her eyes become soft when she talks of
the dolphins. Meet Prudence Theriault, known simply as Prudence,
Tarot Master, Hypnotist and much more.
Prudence was born in Minneapolis, but moved east with her family
when she was three. She had an interest in theatre, at thirteen
months she crawled on stage at her mother’s dance recital
and refused to leave. Later when she told her parents she wanted
to study theatre in college they said no, telling her security was
important. So Prudence got an associates degree in business. Although
business wasn’t her choice she did what she thought she was
supposed to do and with reservation entered the corporate world,
“What a company stood for was important to me.”
She tried but didn’t fit in this world, “I never liked
doing what everybody else does.” Still she persisted, bouncing
around from one company to another, even married a big business
type guy with disastrous consequences. Eventually she divorced and
moved to Columbia County.
She went back to the corporate world only to have the rug pulled
out from under her once again. Finally she’d had enough. “I
needed to do something meaningful, not what I thought I was supposed
to do. I had a need for independence to be involved in healing and
helping people,” so she changed her life.
She studied and became a certified Hypnotherapist, then took courses
in psychic awareness. She joined the American Tarot Association
and soon gained the confidence to begin giving Tarot card readings.
“How did you know you could do it?”
“Trust, intuitiveness, the dramatic change and turbulence
that brought me to Tarot. I was always psychic.” She tells
me of being in the woods behind her house as a child, “I had
a feeling something very bad was going to happen.” The phone
rang. Her father ran to answer it and learned his father had just
Prudence has been giving readings for seven years, working with
Tarot, Psychometry and Hypnotherapy. She loves helping others through
her work, “Tarot is a form of therapeutic session. People
who come to me are curious, have serious issues and are seeking
guidance. Tarot can operate on many levels depending what you want
out of it. I also get to meet fascinating people from all walks
of life.” In one week she read for a man concerned about returning
to Greece, where he feared he might be assassinated, and an unwed
teen mother worried about getting her GED. Health and medical questions
are the only ones she will not answer.
Prudence is a very busy woman. She teaches at Columbia-Greene, reads
Tarot professionally three days a week at a health resort in the
Berkshires, occasionally at the Blue-White Rainbow Booksellers in
Albany and offers readings privately by appointment.
she helps people overcome fears and phobias, helps them to stop
smoking, lose weight or conquer fears such as public speaking. She
once helped a gardener overcome a fear of insects. She also offers
sessions in past life regression.
“I use Hypnosis to help people make changes in their lives,
to help them be what they want to be. A trance is nothing more than
a deep state of relaxation. I can’t take control over people
and make them do silly things like in movies. I won’t make
you cluck like a chicken,” she laughs.
Theatre is still a part of her multifaceted life; she often takes
on an acting role with the Columbia Civic Players in Ghent. Prudence
has discovered what she loves and needs to do with her life. Gone
are the, “what I’m supposed to do” years. “The
mind is a powerful tool. Focus on what you want to happen, not what
you don’t want to happen.”
I quote my friend Julia Cameron, “Leap and the net will appear.”
Prudence smiles and digs through the deck of black-backed Tarot
cards. She turns over one card, The Fool. Depicted in the card’s
illustration is a man about to step off a cliff. “The Fool
represents new adventure, life’s lessons learned, and trust.
If you don’t just do it, you never will.”
We’ll talk next time From The Road.