I'm glad I live and work in Winnipeg. There's a very different attitude about intuitive / psychic reading here than in a lot of other places. Maybe it's the rich multicultural background of this city. Where people come together but honor their roots, as well as the rich sense of folklore that many of us are proud of.
I grew up in a family where readings were an occasional pastime. Whether it was my mom and my aunts reading each others tea leaves at the lake or going with them to the Chocolate Shop restaurant (where I was later to find my own professional start) where readers came table to table, or going and seeing one of Winnipeg's best known readers Madame Helen Red Davis. Reading was seen as something entertaining, thought provoking and as food for thought.
I've noticed from looking at a lot of other websites that readings in Winnipeg are less expensive, and that generally our readers don't seem so "over the top" as in some places. I am able to live and work without having to sensationalize what I do. Maybe because it's my hometown and if I ever did get too big for my britches I'd have somebody I know get me back in line.
Ive noticed a good healthy respect of different faiths too in our city. I'm blessed to have a lot of friends of differing backgrounds and beliefs and have usually felt welcomed in a variety of circles and traditions. My own style of reading is a blend of "old school" - the kind of perception and intuition that went with the style of readers this city long had up till the early 80's and some elements from the New Age movement that only began to become more popularized in the mainstream (here anyway) by Shirley Maclean and others since that time.
Winnipeg has a vibrant arts community that is very special to me as I have always had a theatrical streak. I was actively involved in theatre and did some television and stage work as a kid. I still enjoy doing a little community theatre from time to time. I think this helped me as a reader to understand people better. The ability to get into a character is very similar to the sensory experience of picking up on someone else's character. As well, this training has proved helpful in having communicative skill. A big part of what I do is only effective if it is delivered in a way that is understandable and comfortable to the client. A reading is largely about seeing what is interesting in another person and reflecting it back.
Having a good co-operative relationship with other readers is important. For one thing, it's nice to be able to give a referral occasionally. I don't usually read for friends - at least on a business basis, as I cannot be as objective (when I do read for them it's much like being back at the lake, reading for each other). I also have other readers who refer people to me. I am fortunate to have a safe location with another business working cooperatively along with me. I know of some home based readers that have to be rather cautious about who they can comfortably work with.
Blackletter books (where I have my reading room) has been a great location that has allowed me to keep my costs reasonable. I don't think there's another city this size that can offer the rents that we have. I also know that in these hard times I wouldn't have lasted or been as accessible had I gone into a more "high end" location. I love being able to walk to work and having Lola (the dog who comes to work with us every day) just wouldn't be possible anywhere else.
There is a different vibe to different cities. Winnipeg was once called "The Chicago Of The North", you can feel something in some of our buildings - from the "Hermetic Code" of our legislative building to the energy of The Forks (so called because it is the junction of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers) this city is truly the heart of the continent. Even before it became heavily populated this was a centre point and just as our long winters could hold a traveler till the rivers thawed, this city holds dear what it likes.
I think I'll always be here and chances are, in one form or another, I'll always be a Winnipeg reader.