Author Topic: Idiot's Guide  (Read 1988 times)

Devious Viper
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Idiot's Guide
« on: September 07, 2006, 03:54:11 AM »
by Sharon Lonsdale

For more than 25 years, Diane Ahlquist has been using playing cards, pendulums, tea leaves and her intuitive abilities to look into the future. Now, Ahlquist, a psychic counselor who lives in Englewood, is sharing her knowledge as the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fortune Telling.

The book is just one in the popular "Idiot's Guide" series of mass-market softcovers aimed at delivering the basics on hundreds of subjects - from freemasonry to dog tricks, from investing to adoption - in an easy-to-understand, often-lighthearted manner.

Ahlquist, 51, formerly of Sarasota, calls her guide "a fun book for teenagers at a sleepover, as well as adults who are fascinated by different forms of divination."

She already had written two books, Moon Spells: How to Use the Phases of the Moon to Get What You Want and White Light: The Complete Guide to Spells and Rituals for Psychic Protection, when she landed the deal to write the fortune-telling guide last year.

In her book, Ahlquist offers an introduction to reading clouds, coffee grounds, palms, icicles, ashes, dominoes, candle wax and head bumps. One thing she doesn't mention is tarot cards, as that topic has a guide all to itself.

Growing up with a grandmother who gave psychic readings in a Chicago tearoom, a grandfather who read cards to predict the outcome of White Sox games and a mother who did psychic card readings for friends, Ahlquist says, "I practically learned to read cards before I learned to read books."

Although most people don't come from such an impressive psychic lineage, she says, "I do think that we all have psychic ability to really look into our future."

In addition to private psychic readings, Ahlquist holds seminars and lectures and has worked as a reader at Sarasota's Elysian Fields, a feng shui practitioner and a "ghost buster" clearing homes of unwanted spirits. She has also served as a consultant to the TV show Unsolved Mysteries.

Ahlquist says she feels the key to using the book is to choose one or two methods and to stay with them. "The more you do a certain form of divination, the better you get and the more intuitive you'll become."

And, she says, readers don't need to tell fortunes to get something out of the book. Ahlquist believes that by tapping into your intuitive ability, you make better decisions in everyday life, and that by practicing any form of divination, you will elevate your consciousness, resulting in "a better understanding of people and situations."

Even with all her experience, Ahlquist says she learned much while writing The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fortune Telling, especially about such unfamiliar topics as the runes and the I Ching. Her preferred methods of divination are cartomancy, or reading playing cards, and scrying, predicting the future with crystals or mirrors.

However, she has little time for either now as she is already at work on her next book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Afterlife, due to her publisher Nov. 1 and scheduled to be released in 2007.

Ahlquist says that this book is more of a challenge, requiring her to research the beliefs of eight different religions and the Egyptian Book of the Dead and to interview people who have had near-death experiences and those who say they have died and "come back."

The book will also look into the existence of heaven and hell and where the soul goes after death. "It will be scientific, not 'woo-woo,' " says Ahlquist, adding that she is finding it more difficult to inject humor into this guide than her first one.

As a result of the assignments, Ahlquist sees her future taking a new direction. She is doing fewer readings for her clients as she prepares for a statewide book signing and lecture tour. She also is seeking a talent agent to help her secure work in television and documentaries. And researching the guide to the afterlife also has sparked her curiosity in electronic voice phenomena - seeking spirit voices using electronic recording equipment.

She also would like to write another book - and not necessarily another Idiot's Guide. "They pay you pretty well," Ahlquist says of the guides, "but they expect a lot.

"I think writing books about body, mind and spirit is my niche," she says, adding, "I always felt I was going to do something to bring information to people and make a difference - but I didn't know how."

Diane's website


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Re: Idiot's Guide
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2006, 06:16:35 AM »
She's 51?  She looks far younger than 51.

I'm glad I'm not still into witchcraft.  I was buying so many books it was getting very expensive, although I doubt I would have bought this one.

It seemed as though all the books became very repetitive and, as Jordyn said, you have to find something deeper and darker as if you're satisfying an addiction.