Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Variety of jobs in the cards for Allbee
Dave Allbee's girlfriend said she believes he is psychic but she's also glad he doesn't take himself too seriously.
That's why he's called Mystic Dave - and can prove it with his business card: "Mystic Dave's Tarot and Machine Shop." "Got a screw loose (literally or figuratively)?" it asks.
Allbee, a 50-year-old man in jeans and flannel work shirt, promises services he can perform: odd jobs, repair of the unusual and Tarot readings.
"The reason I got into Tarot is that I've been psychic all my life, even as a little child," Allbee said, explaining that other psychics have told him repeatedly that interpreting Tarot cards is his calling.
"Oh, man," he interrupted himself sheepishly. "This is going to sound so..."
Nutty? Absurd? Weird?
"This is a little worrisome to me," Allbee finished. "I'm just a normal guy who's a little more aware than everybody else. I do have the ability to read people, even without the cards."
Allbee, a New York native, will tell you that he was destined to settle here. Early on, he was drawn to Virginia. He would open the atlas and ponder the place where history happened. His mother once planted a dogwood and named it the "David tree."
"It seemed I was headed for Virginia, no matter what," he said.
Allbee ended up moving to Virginia Beach and later to Blacksburg to pursue his education at Virginia Tech. He started out in physics, studied philosophy and religion and ended up getting a degree in studio art because it was the "quickest way out." At the time, he and his wife were expecting a child and he needed to devote himself to his family. He graduated from Tech in 1989.
By then, Allbee's psychic abilities were second nature. His wife, whom he later divorced, believed in his abilities but wasn't overly concerned with them. "She was a very practical woman," he noted.
Ditto for his mother, the woman who convinced him to add handyman work to his business card when he recently decided to advertise his Tarot reading skills.
Allbee's mother never was enthusiastic about having a psychic for a son.
"I was maybe 9 or 10," Allbee remembered, "and I was visiting my grandmother who would speak to invisible saints. She spoke to Saint Christopher and turned to me and said, 'Saint Christopher says you're going to be psychic and you're going to do this when you grow up.' My mother turned white as a ghost and double-timed me right out of there."
Allbee's early experiences with the ethereal world included out-of-body experiences, something he describes as "cliche but true."
"The first time I got up out of bed and turned around and saw my physical body asleep in the bed, I was so startled I slammed right back into my body. Of course, no one believed me."
For a time during his childhood, Allbee said he suppressed his intuitive abilities because there was no one to talk to about them. In his teenage years, he found himself being called again. By the time he was in his 20s, he was into transcendental meditation and was trying to make sense of his experiences by studying metaphysics. His sleep continued to be infiltrated with visions and out-of-body occurrences.
"My hair turned gray after I saw a vision of the future that was very scary to me," he said of one such occurrence. The apocalyptic vision showed him a world enveloped in darkness where desperate people resorted to animalistic behavior.
"I don't want to scare people," he noted. "I don't think that's necessarily going to happen. There are other visions of the future that I've seen that are brighter."
"Time," he added, "is like a river and you're standing on a bridge. If you're looking upstream, you can see the future. What you see may or may not happen because it can be pushed aside by the current."
Allbee believes the things that happen to him can happen to anyone. "Everybody's psychic," he said. "Some people pay more attention to it than others."
His girlfriend, Tania Anderson, isn't convinced of that. But she is convinced that Allbee reads her thoughts.
"He freaks me out! I'll be making dinner and wondering if I should add an ingredient. He'll say, 'Yeah, add a little of that.' He'll answer something that I haven't said out loud."
"I've never been a big psychic connection believer, the 'call 900' thing you see on TV," said Josh Martinez, a friend and former co-worker, "but Dave does have an ability, yes. I would have to say he's psychic."
Martinez met Allbee two years ago when Allbee was hired as a machinist at Tetra, where Martinez still works. Allbee left Tetra and started his current venture, one Martinez calls "surprising - but I'm glad he's doing it."
Reading the Tarot - a deck of 78 cards used by psychics to discover issues and answers, as well as to predict the future in terms of probabilities - is a skill Allbee finally decided to pursue after a psychic in Florida insisted on it.
"I believe the cards are a good starting place. They're a tool," he said. "A hammer in the right hands is a good tool. A hammer in the wrong hands will break things."
The cards, Allbee explained, are neither good nor bad. He said people seeking answers through the cards should never ask a question they don't want answered. The cards should never be substituted for free will, either.
"You're in control of your own destiny," he said. "The decisions you make are always yours. But if you go with the flow, life can be easier. If you're struggling, it's not where you're supposed to be."
Can his readings help people with the questions causing their struggle? He thinks so.
"The cards seem to be quite accurate as to what you want."
Allbee said he will charge $20 for his Tarot readings. The other services he offers - including making small machine parts ranging from cogs to clamps - are negotiable.
He already has one prediction that he's certain will come true. It's a gut feeling, not a psychic vision.
"I'm going to get razzed in the grocery store," he said. "It's not the typical thing people do here. But it is what it is and here I am."