2016-10-20 / Front Page

Newport’s Mystical Subculture

By Olga Enger

Eddie Kosicki, known in his circles as Wolf Moon Eduardo, uses an experimental method of divine interpretation through reading fire. Eddie Kosicki, known in his circles as Wolf Moon Eduardo, uses an experimental method of divine interpretation through reading fire. October brings out stories of ghosts and ghouls, but for a small but growing community in Newport, the practice of magic is a year-round craft. In an office on Bellevue Avenue, in the place of law degrees or real estate licenses, the walls are decorated with intricately illustrated optical illusions and occult-inspired masks. Edward “Eddie” Kosicki, known in his circles as Wolf Moon Eduardo, shuffles a deck of tarot cards as he talks about his craft.

“We call ourselves mystics,” he said. “There are about 15 of us in Newport who read professionally. We are not mind readers and we are not the ultimate authority on all things. We do provide a service that can be a helpful tool, whether it’s to put someone’s mind at ease, make contact with someone who has passed, or help with relationship issues.”

Tarot card reading circle. Tarot card reading circle. As a mystic, or a seer, Wolf Moon Eduardo uses the cards and the ancient practice of rune stones to provide divine interpretations for a wide spectrum of querents, or seekers, including city councilors, housewives and doctors.

“People usually ask about love, money or seek direction,” said the seer. “We call it ‘the gift’ that was granted to us by a greater energy. Some are born with this and settle into it as they get older. With some, it surfaces after a traumatic experience.”

At the nearby Elks Lodge on Pelham Street, Christine Regan always says good night to her fellow members, both living and dead.

“I am an empath. I have intuitive dreams, and can see auras and ghosts,” said Regan. “The Elks Lodge is full of ghosts.”

Her intuitive abilities developed in 1992, after a near-death experience, when she was bitten by a tick carrying Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. She developed encephalitis, a dangerous inflammation of the brain, and was in a coma for two weeks.

“The doctors and nurses were frantic. My mom was sobbing. I had the sensation that I was being pulled away from them, somewhere else. I found myself gliding down a long corridor with the most beautiful music I had ever heard and a very bright and warm light at the end that I couldn’t wait to reach,” said Regan.

She woke up with partial paralysis, long-term memory loss, and a mountain of medical bills, which eventually led to a divorce from her husband. Despite those concrete realities, Regan could not ignore her new abilities.

Two years later, she attended Salve Regina’s holistic counseling program, where she met classmates who also sought to lift the barrier between the known and unknown.

One of those classmates, Christine McCullough, may be found serving homemade gluten-free muffins and coffee to friends in her quaint home located in Newport’s North End. But a glance at her bookshelf reveals she is also unique from her neighbors, with texts of tarot history, numerology and Shamanism.

“I draw in astrology, numerology and other mystic paths,” said Mc- Cullough, who has read tarot for over 45 years and taught classes on various metaphysical and holistic topics for 25 years. She also penned “Holistic Tarot: Soul Map for a New Paradigm.”

A trend that has developed since McCullough began the craft is a growing number of men are open to mystical concepts.

“Some men will ask about stocks. What they should buy, when they should buy,” she said.

As a home health care worker, McCullough has also noticed a shift in medicine. “People are willing to look more at other holistic treatments than they were before. The mind is a much bigger thing than we thought,” said McCullough.

Tarot cards first gained popularity in 14th-century Europe as a playing game, variations of which still exist today. It was not until the French occultist Jean-Baptiste Alliette first published his ideas that the tarot correlated to astrology, the four elements, and the body’s four temperaments (based on the Indian Ayurveda system of medicine) that decks were made for occult purposes.

“If you ask a specific question, the cards will reveal a specific answer,”

McCullough explained.

Recently, social media has provided a platform for local mystics to come together.

“I wanted a place that we are accepted,” said Regan, who runs Newport Mystical Society. Since launching a Facebook page two years ago, the group has grown to over 600 people. Regan also organizes mystical events at the Elks Lodge after a dream revealed her path.

“Almost four years ago, I had a dream of a large building with a room that had many mirrors and two fireplaces. And so it began, with a lot of help from my friends,” said Regan. The next event is scheduled for Oct. 29 from noon until 10 p.m.

“People today are more receptive to that gray area. Not everything is black and white,” Regan continued.

In periods of history, the use of magic, especially by woman, was a crime punishable by death. Along with other religious freedoms, mysticism is now accepted.

“Newport’s mystical community is vibrant. It is no longer in the shadows,” said McCullough.

The city also has a growing secularized form of mysticism, through yoga and meditation, whose techniques work to produce psychological benefits outside of conventional methods. “A new yoga studio pops up every month,” Wolf Moon Eduardo pointed out.

McCullough will read cards at Gather Tea Bar, 312 Broadway, on Oct. 22 from noon until 5 p.m.

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