Alexandra Chauran

A day in the life of an accidental seer.
Well, I smashed my phone the day before a weeklong trip to California despite Mercury going direct. That means that the universe is telling me to relax for a week! I'll be leaving tomorrow, on my 35th birthday, and returning to resume email reading work on Monday, June 13th. If you buy a reading or request an appointment during my absence, please be aware that my response will be delayed until that date. My new summer appointment hours will be starting once I get a replacement phone, so stay tuned for that announcement after my return. As always, email readings don't require an appointment and will be answered in the order they are received as soon as possible for minimum interruption of service for my regular family of clients. P.S. After battling cancer this year, I'm just so happy to be reaching my 35th birthday tomorrow! Raise a glass to me and celebrate this weekend! Take care.
This Thursday I'm having a double radical mastectomy, so if you purchase an email reading, be aware that it won't be answered until sometime next week when I'm feeling up to it. I plan to return to phone and chat readings gradually over the next couple of months, and in-person readings after I finish up radiation. Take care, and I'll see you on the flip side!
I was interviewed today on the topic of Wicca.

1. Can I have your full name? You also mentioned that you have authored a few books - would you mind including a title or two?

My name is Alexandra Chauran. I am the author of Crystal Ball Reading for Beginners, So You Want to Be a Psychic Intuitive?, Faeries & Elementals for Beginners, Have You Been Hexed?, Professional Psychic's Handbook (including How to Be a Professional Psychic and The Ethics & Responsibilities of Being a Psychic), Animal Familiars for Beginners, Horned Hunter of the Night, 365 Ways to Develop Your Psychic Ability, Palmistry Every Day, Clearing Clutter, How to Talk to Me After I'm Gone, Spirit Boards for Beginners, Clairvoyance for Beginners, 365 Ways to Strengthen Your Spirituality, Compassion is the Key to Everything, and the upcoming Runes for Beginners. There are a few more anthologies and some fiction, too, but those are the ones you're most likely to have seen on the book shelves related to the topic of Wicca. However, my work of fiction, Horned Hunter of the Night was meant to portray a seeker becoming Wiccan.

2. You noted that you are a practicing Wiccan elder and queen of a coven. For those who might not know, can you explain the meaning behind these labels?

Certainly. I practice traditional Wicca, which is an initiatory, oathbound, experiential, mystery religion. My Wicca is practiced in a group context in groups called covens. The coven assists each initiated member through ritual experiences that allow them to come to their own religious understandings of sacred mysteries. There are three initiations within traditional Wicca. When a Wiccan passes through all three initiations, he or she may teach Wicca and form his or her own coven. A leader of a coven is sometimes called a queen, especially by traditional Wiccans practicing in the United States.

3. How long have you been practicing and what drew you to Wicca?

I believe that the Goddess and God of British Traditional Wicca drew me to them. At thirteen years of age, I had a few metaphysical experiences that scared me, and I was desperate to be able to control them. So, I began exploring and practicing with the local Pagan community, with my parents’ blessings, since traditional Wicca is a priesthood practiced by adults. I spent three years in Wiccan outer courts petitioning for initiation until my first initiation in February of 2006 officially began my practice as a Wiccan.

4. When I pitched this story during my job interview, I mentioned how I was initially interested in this topic after seeing so much discussion about the recent film, "The Witch." Since you are a practicing Wiccan I would love to get your take on the film (negative or positive) and its portrayal of witchcraft. Also, do the Salem witch trials still affect the Wiccan community today?

Ah, I haven’t yet seen The Witch, but I would very much like to! I have two very small children, so my husband and I don’t often get out to see movies. In my local social circle of Wiccans, we eagerly strive to see any movies that could possibly relate to witchcraft mythology. I did see Krampus as my most recent witchcraft related movie. I watched the trailer for The Witch online, and two thoughts sprang to mind. Curses do exist in this world. Mythological baby stealing appears in ancient stories, often associated with faeries replacing the child with one of their own, and taking the child to fairy land. Often, a visitor to the faery realms in literature returns from many years away to find that only moments have passed in the real world. This can be a metaphor for the journey that one takes through the magical realms spiritually, in which wisdom is gained so that it seems one has grown in wisdom much more than is possible in a few moments.

The Salem witch trials say more about racism and human nature with regards to mob mentality and mass hysteria than they’ve ever said about Wiccans.

Today I was interviewed by Anna Levine at Llewellyn Worldwide!

1. Your many books have spanned quite a few topics, from crystal ball reading to feng shui to compassion. What inspired you to write your latest book, 365 Ways to Strengthen Your Spirituality?

I was inspired to write a book about developing spirituality because I had begun mentoring potential spiritual students. As a Wiccan, I spend a year and a day (or more) with potential students before initiating and training them. I wished that I had some sort of curriculum to spend that year and a day more wisely, so I wrote my own. Concurrently, I was trying to help some loved ones who struggle with prayer become more comfortable with the spirituality they craved. I kept those loved ones in mind as I wrote about ways to overcome feeling silly when trying to get spiritual.

2. How do you define spirituality? Is it something we all experience in unique ways, or do you identify it more with a codified belief system?

I believe that plenty of people can be spiritual without any sort of religious label. Many people are hungry for spirituality, even if they identify as agnostic. I tried to make my book accessible to people of all belief systems, from diehard baptized or initiated folks, to curious seekers.

3. Why is it important for us to strengthen our connection to the divine?

Not everyone is “hungry” for spirituality. But those who are often suffer without a connection to the divine. Some people may feel fearful, sad or confused without a connection to spirit. Some people might even try to fill the void with alcoholism, buying excess stuff, or by being obsessed with work or a relationship. For this reason, I believe that faith can help many people become more resilient, confident, and fulfilled.

4. The book includes 365 practices designed to take just a few moments each day. How can only a few moments produce such powerful results?

It’s the frequency, not duration of spiritual practice that help beginners form new habits. If you try to jump into spirituality by becoming a monk or otherwise devoting hours of every day to spirituality, you might become burned out if you don’t see “results” right away. Doing a little something every day for a long time is a surefire way to prove to yourself that what you’re doing is productive.

5. What do you hope readers take away from 365 Ways to Strengthen Your Spirituality?

I hope that readers of my book on spirituality will begin to value the role that simple prayer or other rituals can play in their everyday lives. I also hope my book will be able to guide anyone to have a living relationship with the divine, no matter what form that takes.

For those who don't know, I have cancer. I start treatment on the 9th (after Mercury retrograde ends)! I will continue to work with my current clients (I love my job) and writing projects, but please bear with my crazy schedule and limited availability.
I'm excited to be performing official Priestess duties outside of the country for the first time. I'm licensed to perform a wedding this Thursday in Canada and I couldn't be happier about it. Today is last call for services from me because I'll be out of the country for the rest of the week. Don't fret, I'll be back in the office on Monday ready to get back to work! Blessed be!
Since I'm writing Runes for Beginners (coming in 2016), I was interviewed today by Soul & Spirit Magazine.

What are runes? What are they made out of and what does the symbol on the front represent?

Runes are ancient ideograms that together represent the totality of concepts in the human experience. When written out in order, they make up a letter row that can be used as a magical script. They are often each printed on a wooden round, stone, bone, or bit of clay to make up a set of complete runes that can be used as a divinatory tool.

Could you tell me a bit about the history behind runes? Where did they originate? Who created it and/or what sparked the idea initially?

The first runes were the Elder Futhark, used initially in the first or second century by Germanic peoples. Modern scholars don’t know who first invented the runes, but Norse legend has it that the god of wisdom himself, Odin, invented the runes after being suspended from the world tree for nine days without food or water and then falling down.

What can runes be used for? How do I read them? Do you select each one using intuition only?

Runes can be used for magic, as a secret script, or for divination. In modern times, the most common use for runes is to tell fortunes with them; analysing personalities, and looking into the past, present and future. Each rune has a corresponding divinatory meaning, which you can look up in a book or online. The simplest form of divination is to pull a rune, sight unseen, from a bag and ponder it’s meaning in relation to your life and the day ahead. Your intuition comes into play when pulling the rune that you sense is best, and when puzzling out what the symbol means in context.

What should I ask the runes about? Can they help me with any issue?

Just as all the letters of the alphabet can make up any word you could ever want to say, the runes make up the totality of the human experience. So, no subject is too deep or too shallow. That said, it is easier for a beginner to ask the runes simple questions with a positive or negative answer. Such as, “Should I start applying for a new job in order to better my career?” You can also ask open-ended questions for a more spiritual answer. Try something like, “What should I be thinking about in order to start and keep a loving relationship?”

With crystals and tarot card it's always advised to 'cleanse' them before use, is that the same with runes? If so, how should I look after them?

Ideally, your runes will be hand-made by you from materials found in nature. As such, a cleansing is not necessary, but certainly not harmful. The only mandatory part of rune care is to make or purchase a bag in which to keep them. An optional additional rune care tool is a piece of cloth onto which to cast them. The ancients may have used white cloth, but you can choose whatever color you like and can even paint or write on the cloth to remind yourself of rune meanings or casting positions.

How should I get started reading runes? Are they difficult to read?

Get started reading runes by making your own set and practicing. You can make flash-cards to help remember the rune meanings. I’m not going to lie, for a beginner it can be difficult at first to memorize rune meanings. At first, all runes look very similar to one another, and it can be hard to ascribe intuitive meanings to what look like abstract lines to a novice. But, once you’ve gotten through the tough bit of memorization, reading runes can be a simple and relaxing hobby.

Would you be able to give us a personal story about how you or one of your clients benefited from using runes?

Here’s a story from early in my business. I was offering rune readings for a fundraiser on my college’s campus. A student and her mother came to me excited that I offered rune readings among the tarot readers and psychics. They explained to me that an elderly relative had just died who was deeply tied to her Norse heritage and culture. They asked me to perform a rune reading, and I was very nervous to do so regarding such a serious topic in such a public context. However, the family members felt a lot of fulfilment from the reading, which included joyful runes. Though it’s doubtful that I have Germanic heritage myself, I was humbled to be a part of the special tie my clients had with their ancestors.

Do you have a short exercise that our readers could try at home in order to get started with runes?

Here’s a vital exercise that everyone should do in order to get started with runes. Start a rune journal. Sure, the meanings of the runes are in books and on the Internet, but as you gain your own personal experience you will expand the meanings to include more precision and nuance. A sure-fire way to do this is with a rune journal. You can use an electronic journal, but it can feel better to work with paper and pen. I suggest a three-ring binder so that you can add pages to individual runes if one becomes more significant than another at some point in your life. Start with a page for each rune. In the morning, pull a rune at random from a bag. Sit and meditate upon it. Think about how it might relate to the day ahead and write down any initial intuitive feelings. At the end of the day, write more about how the rune expressed itself in your day. Include very specific details, so that you can understand how you lived the rune.

Today I was interviewed by a writer for CafeMom.

1. What are some strange things women dream about what does it mean?

Teeth falling out, sex with ex-boyfriends, horrible disasters befalling children or other family members, transforming into animals or giving birth to animals, and more!

2. Why do we have these dreams?

Each dreams have specific interpretations, but repetitive dreams often come during periods of stress in our lives when we're trying to integrate the lessons learned from waking life into our brains for long-term memory storage.

3. Is it directly related to real-life?

Some dreams can be related to real life directly, or even prophetic, but most dreams are also highly symbolic. So a death might mean an ending and a fire might mean transformation, instead of scary literal reality.

4. Should you worry if you have crazy dreams?

If you're not getting restful sleep because of crazy dreams or other reasons, there may be cause to worry about a sleep disorder, for which you should visit your general physician for a possible sleep study referral.

5. What makes you an expert?

I'm a certified counselor, a dream interpreter, and the author of over a dozen published books on this and related topics.

I'll be camping with family and friends out in no-phone's-land in the middle of nowhere from Friday through Monday. The beauty and peace of the wilderness beckons! If you buy an email reading during this time, you'll have the work done by the end of the business day Tuesday. Enjoy the weekend! I'll see you on the flip side.
Today I was interviewed by a journalist because of the role I play as a fortune teller in the lives of people who feel lost on life's career path.

What signals can workers notice that might indicate they feel
lost in their career? What day-to-day feelings and things that
keep them up at night are usually a sign that you're lost in
your career?

Intuition can bring you back over and over again to discontent in your career path. Disruptive career dreams can be a problem as well. Even highly symbolic dreams such as dreaming about a car crash or teeth falling out can represent a feeling of a loss of control over one's work life.

What are the next steps, assessments, evaluations, classes,
training, etc. that you should look into if you're lost in your
career?

Again, turn to intuition for guidance and reflect. Education usually brings about better career opportunities, so following up with those you've listened to and thought, "I need to hear more from this person" is an excellent next step. Think broadly about your strengths before narrowing your focus on the career of your dreams.

What signs of success can workers look for in their career that
could indicate that they're now moving in the right direction?

Having the perfect job for you doesn't mean feeling perfect. But when you're following your bliss you'll find that other things in your life line up in harmony. The commute won't feel stressful even if it is long. Your personal life will be on track with your work-life balance. And you'll find that people in the workplace are drawn to your own joy and contentedness.

Is a career switch always necessary? Do you have to quit your
job?

Absolutely not. You create your own destiny. Sometimes that means manifesting change in your current career or work environment.

Alexandra Chauran, Fortune Teller in Issaquah, WA

      On Thursday, Kansas passed House Bill 2258 which would crack-down on welfare recipients' use of welfare funds to pay psychics and fortune tellers, among others. The bill would also limit the lifetime of benefits for welfare families to 36 months and reduce ATM withdrawals to a $25 maximum to limit the amount of cash that could go into the hands of psychics, or other purveyors of goods or services the government deems inappropriate. The House passed it on an 87-35 vote, after the Senate approved it, 30-10 despite the fact that the numbers of welfare recipients have already halved in Kansas over the last three years, evidence which does not support any conclusions about widespread welfare fraud. The ban is poised to take effect July 1st, 2015.

      As a professional fortune teller, I must admit that I frequently cut off the needy from my services. When I must cut off a client from purchasing readings due to reasons of poverty, I gently explain that he or she must focus entirely on survival, and put aside other concerns. That often means walking out of the psychic's office, hanging up the phone, or logging off the Internet and focusing on the self for a while. I don't hesitate to assure such clients that I'll be here for them when they're back on their feet. However, a blanket ban on allowing a welfare recipient from asking me for professional help since I'm also a certified counselor, or from hiring an affordable fortune teller for a kid's birthday party is a broad government reach. I imagine that counselors in Kansas who are non-judgemental about alternative spirituality and other diverse client needs are hard to come by.

      Though those who voted to pass House Bill 2258 are expected to sign off on it, they are still giving the bill careful review. If you are a Kansas resident and have strong feelings about the bill either way, you should contact your representative to speak your piece. Comment and discuss House Bill 2258's potential effects on professional psychics and their clients below. Please share this post widely.

Alexandra Chauran is a doctoral degree student in Public Administration and is available for media comment.

      My business has been expanding. My hours have been increasing. My new apprenticeship program is taking off. It's time to share the wealth!

      Okay, first of all, more free audiobooks! I am offering free audiobook download codes for two of my book titles: (1) How to Talk to Me After I’m Gone: Creating a Plan for Spirit Communication and (2) 365 Ways to Develop Your Psychic Ability: Simple Tools to Increase Your Intuition and Clairvoyance. All I ask in return is that you pinkie swear to post an honest review somewhere online. Just shoot me an email and I’ll give you a code.

      Another huge announcement and one last freebie at the end. I’m having my first sale in eight years! Email readings are currently $24.99 (down from $29.99 so that I can pass on some of my abundant success to you. If you’ve never had a phone reading, email me first for an exclusive link to get three free phone minutes with purchase of an email reading. All I ask in return is that you post an honest review right here on Keen.

Thanks to Pagan Business Network for allowing me a business spotlight interview.

1 - How would you describe your business?
I would describe my business as primarily a fortune telling business. I provide advice, by telephone, at events, and for in-person consultation. I’m even certified as a counselor in Washington State. I’m also a writer on the topics of witchcraft and psychic phenomena, providing horoscope content for businesses as well as producing multiple published books every year.

2 - What inspired you to start this business?
I started this business in 1999. I was living on a boat and working my way through college when I first signed up as a contractor to give answers about love, career, and more over the phone. I’d been performing divination since childhood as a personal spiritual practice for myself, friends and family. It was the golden era of psychic hotlines, and Miss Cleo was on television saying, “Call me now for yer free readin’!” in her fake Jamaican accent. I was eager to put a new, professional face on fortune telling.

3 - Where can we find your business?
I serve clients on the telephone, online, and locally in beautiful Issaquah, Washington State.

4 - Do you offer wholesale, drop shipping, affiliate or other programs?
Amazon affiliates can add my wide range of books to their Amazon Stores. However, I don't manage retail sales of books. I'm terrible at retail!

Today, I was interviewed by the Pagan Writers Community.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, what are the main life experiences that have led to your books?
I’ve been a fortune teller since I was a kid. It sounds strange, but really I had the most supportive parents in the world, and an intuitive mom to boot. In fact, later on, my mom and I actually worked a Psychics on the Sea cruise ship together! I always joke that I could scry in a toothbrush. I started writing books and never stopped. Now I write at least three a year. Some book ideas come to me in dreams. Some of them are given to me by others. I’m easily inspired, and always open to suggestions!

2. When did you realise that you were Pagan?
I grew up as a sort of pantheist. When I was a teenager I dedicated myself to Paganism, and was initiated into Wicca as a young adult.

3. When and why did you begin writing?
I’m going to give a shout out to my junior high school writing teacher, Sue Moroz. She died of breast cancer, but before she did, she made me promise to keep writing!

4. Is this your first published piece or have you had work published before?
I’ve had over a dozen books published.

5. Are you published or self published, and what has been your experience of this process?
I am lucky enough to be a multi-published author. I’ve had a really excellent experience working with several publishers. I really can’t rave enough about working with a good publisher. I’m just not good enough to self-publish. I need teams of editors and marketers and an art department to make magic! I’ve had wonderful experience publishing with Llewellyn Worldwide. I’ve also had different but equally charming experiences working with smaller indie presses like Jupiter Gardens Press, Pagan Writers Press, and Megalithica Books.

6. How did the topic of your books come to you?
I mostly write about my day job, fortune telling. I also love to write about magic, spirit communication, and Wicca. Occasionally a fiction manuscript jumps out of me and wanders around my house begging to see the light of day.

7. Who encourages/inspires you?
My mom is definitely my biggest supporter and encourager. I’ll let you in on a little secret that she’s my first and best proof reader. My husband and kids are amazing supporters of my zany writing addiction. And, of course, my editor at Llewellyn, Amy Glaser, is a peach!

8. Tell us a bit about your fiction story, key characters and plot.
I mostly write non-fiction books about body, mind and spirit. Though I did write a romance novel called Horned Hunter of the Night which features a young woman falling in love with the Horned God of the Wicca.

9. What is your top tip for new writers?
Definitely write things and finish what you start. Learn how to work even with frequent interruptions or when you’re not in the mood for writing. As a mom of two young children, I’ve had to teach myself to write under extremely distracting circumstances, and I’m thankful for that skill.

10. What are your future plans for writing?
Well, my book Clearing Clutter releases on July 8th, so I’m excited about that one being released in time for people to clean house for summer guests. I also have 365 Ways to Strengthen Your Spirituality coming out November 8th. I’m writing two more contracted books right now for 2016: Compassion is the Key to Everything and Runes for Beginners, so I’m super pumped about those topics right now.

11. Do you ever dream about writing?
I had a dream about living my spirit life. When I saw my book, How to Talk to Me After I’m Gone in the dream, I immediately told my publisher. I received a positive response on 12/12/12 and signed the contract in about a month, which is lightning speed in the publishing industry, let me tell you. My editor observed that this book must be good therapy for me, and it was.

12. Do we see some of you in your books?
I pretty much pour my soul out in personal stories in all my non-fiction books. And you can literally see me on the cover of How to Talk to Me After I’m Gone, along with my mother and daughter. Technically my son is pictured too, but he was inside my big pregnant belly in that photo. People always ask if those are my hands on the cover of Crystal Ball Reading for Beginners. They’re not. They belong to a model selected by the fabulous art department at Llewellyn Worldwide, although plenty of hands familiar to me appear inside Palmistry Every Day.

13. Tell us a little about the community you’re building through your blog and social media. Well, I already mentioned that I’m easily inspired, so I often ask my readers through social media and my blog for ideas when I’m pitching new books or writing up outlines for proposals. I also give away a lot of audiobook download codes on social media. In general though, I’m woefully bad at self-promotion. The good news is that I’m not a spammer!

14. Where do you go when you need to recharge?
I am lucky enough to live on acres of property with beautiful Issaquah Creek running through it. If I feel stressed out or need some grounding, I need look no further than my own back yard, which borders over a thousand acres of state park.

15. Have you ever met one of your fiction characters in real life?
In my fiction writing, I love how you can write in people that you like or don’t like, into an amalgam of a character’s personality. Don’t make an author mad, because she just might kill you off in a book.

16. What, or who, do you enjoy reading?
I will read anything. Seriously. I do a lot of reading. I’m currently working on my doctoral degree, so textbooks are piled up on my night table along with non-fiction metaphysical books given to me by Llewellyn Worldwide for researching my next book. For junk reading, I like perusing cookbooks and fitness books, as well as young adult fiction, fantasy and horror, and memoirs. 17. How long does it take you to write a book, are you a fast writer or a slow writer?
I’m fast. My first published book was written in under a month. Now I relax and take about three months per book.

18. Do you plan your stories before you begin?
When I write fiction, the stories write themselves. However, non-fiction requires research, planning and outlines. I get those approved as proposals before the books ever get written.

19. How important are reviews of your work, do you read them?
Reviews are important. I admit that I’ve pouted and eaten sad snacks when I saw a one-star review creep across my computer screen, but now I don’t let it bug me. I just use the feedback for correcting future printings or inspiring future books. I read most of my reviews, but I don’t make a religion of it.

20. Do you think ebooks have changed the publishing market for better or worse?
As a big fan of eBooks myself, I think that they’ve changed the world for the better. All my publishers produce my books in print and ebook format, so I don’t really worry about the logistics or market. That’s for marketers to worry about. I’m focused on writing and reading.

21. Do you socialise with other writers or are you a solitary author?
I’ve joined Pagan Writers Community, haven’t I? Doesn’t that count as socialization? Seriously, though, I also am a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. I’m planning to get together with other writers to write more once my small children are old enough to not cause someone concentrating to have an aneurism.

22. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you most like a writing retreat?
Costa Rica. It’s a beautiful country, pleasant temperature, and has inspiring flora and fauna.

23. Has your style changed over the past five years – how and why?
I’ve learned a lot about writing. I used to use too many exclamation points, so everything I wrote sounded like it was being written by a thirteen year old girl. I also overused hyphens, and generally wrote long sentences. Occasionally I’ll revert back to my bad habits, but I’d like to think I improve with every book.

24. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and, if so, how do you overcome it?
Nope. Never. I suffer from not enough hours in the day.

25. If you could pick one book you wish you’d written, what would it be?
I definitely have a lot of Wicca book ideas in my head that are just begging for the right publisher to decide they’re marketable. I’d love to write a book about my tradition of British Traditional Wicca, Kingstone, while its founding elders are still alive and kicking to help me with the history. I’d also like to write a Wicca book that throws away all the tools that are barriers to folks practicing on a budget or in limited environments like hospitals, prisons, and homes filled with jumpy parents or roommates. I also think there needs to be more books written for Wiccan couples, since it’s a religion often given to practicing in loving pairs.

      I'm a fortune teller and the author of over a dozen published books on this and related subjects. I know what people do when they find out their lovers had racy pasts because they come running to psychics! Today, I was interviewed by a journalist who was asking questions about such situations.

1. What are common reactions when someone finds out her guy was promiscuous and why?

      Plenty of people come running to a relationship psychic because their minds overflow with all kinds of, "What if?" scenarios. They want to ask if there's an ex he still loves, or if an ex is going to come after him and try to take him away.

2. What are tips on how to handle your guy's promiscuous past and not let it impact how you feel about him?

      I coach my clients to focus on the here and now. Look at the relationship that you have right in front of you. How he treats you and what he says to you tells you a lot already about what sort of a comment that he's made at this stage in life. Let the past be the past, and try to focus on building the future you want to see for your love life.

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