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Resident Advisor: Rosemary Howard-Macdonald, aka The Chelsea Clairvoyant

With celebrities and chief executives among her many clients, the revered Tarot card reader expounds on her psychic gifts, her unique story and what it’s like to commune with the spirits, just in time for Halloween

29 October 2021

Rosemary, The Chelsea Clairvoyant. Image credit Lucinda MacDonald
A tarot reading. Image credit Petr Sidorov/Unsplash

How did your psychic gifts emerge?

I inherited my talents for the esoteric from the women in my family. I’m of Celtic origin, with Welsh, Irish, Scottish and a bit of Spanish heritage. My Irish grandmother could practise divination by breaking an egg into a glass of water and another family member practised tasseography (or the art of tea-leaf reading). However, they did not practise professionally.

My other grandmother could astral travel. She was born in Pune, India, and when she was quite young, she dreamed about the Forbidden City in Beijing (then Peking). She’d never seen it before, but she was able to observe the total layout and all the colours of the roof tiles and columns in her dream.

She wanted to find out if her dream had been correct so, when she returned to England, she went to the British Library, where she found photographs of the Forbidden City that showed her dream to have been an accurate vision. She realised her gift and thought, “Right, this is what I can do; I can astral travel anywhere on the planet and have a jolly good look at anything I like.”

How did you come to this path?

As a child, I thought that sensing, and hearing, things that were not obvious or audible to others – and seeing things in my mind’s eye – was something that everybody did. And then I found that no, not everybody sensed and ‘saw’ things the way I did.

I would see, sense and hear things, and sometimes I’d question whether it was just a fantasy or my imagination. Was it really a message? When you’re quite young, it’s difficult to sort out. It was only when I was 16 and encountered the tarot that I realised I had a gift for clairvoyance.

I was out somewhere with a boyfriend and there was a tarot deck knocking about. He said to me, “Oh, you’re into all that spooky stuff. Why don’t you try reading them?”

I didn’t know what I was doing. I just laid out six cards and I said something like, “OK, in six months, that’s going to happen; then something else is going to happen in another month.” And so on…

Six months later, he gave me a new tarot deck and a book to go with it. He told me that my predictions were accurate; that I had been correct. He told me to “get on with it” and I never looked back. I still use the same deck in all my readings.

How would you explain your psychic gifts?

I am clairvoyant, meaning I can see events that may unfold in the future; clairaudient, so I can hear things beyond normal senses; and I am a spiritual medium and can connect with people in spirit who are no longer in the realm of the living.

What does a typical reading with you look like?

Generally, when I’m setting up a reading with someone, I’ll ask about their expectations and whether they have had readings before, because we all read in different ways; we’re all individual as readers and it’s good to know what people are looking for.

Normally, I will pull a couple of cards before someone arrives; just so that I can get a ‘flavour’ for them, about what’s going on in their lives, even if I’ve not met them. And Spirit will give me a feeling somewhere in my physicality about what it is that they want.

A reading will start with the tarot cards but, truly, it could be bones and feathers, ink in a bowl of water, or it could be sand in a box. Tarot, like the other things I’ve mentioned, is a focus tool.

I think it’s a marvellous tool; it’s an incredibly rich one. Like the layers of an onion. No two spreads are ever the same, ever. So, I find it absolutely fascinating to see what unfolds and to see where we get with it.

What do most people come looking for from a reading?

Some people just come for a general ‘sneak preview’ of the year ahead, but sometimes they come with a pressing question or genuine concern – and I will get this absolute feeling that I know their concerns and how it’s going to turn out for them.

Sometimes people will email me with checklists of all the things they want to know, all the passed loved ones they want to communicate with or all the things they expect to get from a reading. I think, “Crikey, if I could do all that I’d be on my yacht in the South of France.” But it just doesn’t work quite like that.

So, I will write back in all honesty to say that I think I might disappoint them because that’s not actually the way I work. I work much more on the feelings, the sense that I get from dealing with your aura, dealing with your spirit team, communicating with my spirit team. We ‘talk about you behind your back’, you know!

Could you describe your experience of doing a reading?

There’s quite a lot of mental and spiritual preparation for a reading. Before I start each day’s readings, I sit in the power and I connect with my team of spirit guides and just say, “Today, I want to do the best readings I can do for whoever comes. And I hope that I can give them whatever it is that they need at that time.”

Because a person may come thinking that they need one thing but, actually, Spirit knows what they need to be told to focus on at that time. I always psychically cleanse the room before and after each client, I use incense, candles and crystals to assist with this process.

What do you hope that people take away with them after reading from you?

I want people to take away more confidence in their own abilities to chart their lives. Some psychics will give the impression that what is said in a reading is unavoidable or set in stone. And some people want that. But I’m not that sort of reader. I’m showing you what your options are.

If I tell you something that you consider an unacceptable outcome, you can choose not to go down that road; choose another direction. You’ve got free will. It’s all part of Spirit’s plan. It unfolds. I’m showing you that you have the ability to steer your own boat.

Are your readings conducted in person or online?

At the moment, I am seeing most people online. But working digitally doesn’t in any way impede my gifts or the messages from Spirit. Spirit energy doesn’t have any boundaries.

I am seeing new clients in person on a case-by-case basis, providing they have a negative Covid test.

What is the one thing you’d like to share with people interested in receiving a reading?

Tarot will tell you what you need to know at the time of a reading, not what you think you need to know.

For example, I also specialise in ‘Tarot for Business’ and number among my clients some household-name captains of industry.

One time, I went off with my cards in a briefcase, looking frightfully businesslike, to go and see a corporate gentleman, who was working on a complicated merger. He wanted to know which way things were going to go and about the personalities involved in the deal. “Great,” I thought.

I began the reading and the whole spread was about his family problems. Nothing about the merger. And he was getting quite cross, telling me that I’d lost my touch.

I told him, “Well, hang on a minute, consider this: You need to address your wayward son, your daughter’s addiction and your relationship with your wife before you have the energy to really focus on the merger. You’re not going to get this merger sorted out adequately until you have addressed your personal life”. Well, he was very grumpy and I went away thinking that I’d lost a client.

About two months later, he called me to tell me that he had taken on board what I had said, and that his family issues were improving. He said he finally felt he could breathe again and, as a result, he had achieved a very successful merger.

So, you see, Spirit has a way of getting to the point!

Rosemary brings over 35 years of experience to her readings. She has read at high-profile events, weddings, landmark birthdays and for guests at Beaufort House, Bluebird and Annabel’s. She also teaches workshops in psychic development understanding the tarot. For more information, please visit

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