Psychics have an eye on Las Vegas

More people care about love than money when they visit practitioners near the Strip

Psychic Rowena Rasquinha sits in her Cosmic Corner at the Palms.
Rowena Rasquinha often is mistaken for a mannequin when she does some on-the-job meditating in her Cosmic Corner of the Palms casino.

But Rasquinha is no mannequin, and once they take a closer look, guests often want to come in and have a reading.

Las Vegas is a good place to be a psychic, and now is an especially busy time for them, local psychics say. With the number of tourists coming into town, there will always be people who want to know what they believe only a psychic can tell them, said Nancy Barr, who does readings at the Psychic Eye bookstores.

The new year is here and people want to know what 2007 holds for them.

"They want to know what their lives are going to be like. They ask, 'Will I be happy?' " Rasquinha says.

And though they're woven into the fabric of the valley and can be found in every suburb, psychics who work close to casinos seem to have a special appeal. Maybe it's the promise of easy money; how could you bet wrong knowing the future?

Surprisingly, though, few people ask Rasquinha gambling-related questions. They'd rather hear about themselves.

During the past six months, their questions have become more health-related. People also want to know whether they're on the right path in life, Rasquinha says.

"People are also very concerned about their weight. They want to know if they're going to lose and what they should do," she adds.

No matter where they're from -- clients come from every part of the world -- they're looking for answers about their love lives and their careers, says Patricia Marks. She has had her Palm and Tarot Card Reader business on the corner of Las Vegas and Charleston boulevards for the past seven years.

"This is a strange business with things we can't explain," Marks says, sitting behind the beaded curtains in her office. "I'll get five Shirleys in one day, or seven people from the same town. Incredible coincidences like that."

When she first opened her shop, most of her clients were tourists. Now, most are locals.

Personal relationships -- love, romance, friendship, family -- are her specialty. But once they establish the price -- Marks charges $30 to $100 -- people want to know all kinds of things.

"They come for love, finances, advice about lawyers. They kind of use me as a tour guide, ask me for the good restaurants. Really, few ask where they should go and play," Marks sys, adding that no psychic ability is needed to recommend her personal favorite places to eat and visit.

Over the years, Marks has had some interesting questions, including a man who asked if he should go through with his sex change. Women ask if their married boyfriends are cheating on them.

"I get that seven or eight times a year," she says, shaking her head.

The one issue she won't touch is death.

"I don't talk about death, I chose long ago not to see it," she says, adding that that's too much like playing God.

Rasquinha also doesn't talk about death.

"People think when they go to psychics they're going to tell you when you're going to die," she says. "No psychic can tell you that."

The relationship questions people ask her -- such as, "How can I change my partner?" -- turn the readings into mini self-improvement workshops. She talks to them about expectations and personal power.

"People come to me and I notice they're not open in relationships. I get a lot of blocks regarding their parents. Of course, I don't have a magic wand and can't take it away. But I can make them aware of it. I teach them to let go of things," she says. "I teach them about following their passions, too."

If a psychic is good, a reading often becomes a cheap counseling session, says Robert Leysen, owner of the Psychic Eye bookshops. And that's how people should take it.

"It drifts from telling the future to giving them some hope for the future," he notes.