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Oh My Stars

(I’m interrupting my current run of “Ask An Astrologer” blog entries… in which I’m trying to show the practical results you can get from a consultation… to bring you a two-part blog entry about a recent death. Part Two will be my take on the entire 900 line industry and my personal experiences within it.)

Youree Harris, better known as frequent 90s infomercial clairvoyant Miss Cleo, died on Tuesday after a struggle with cancer. She was 53 years old.

Writing about this subject is problematic for me. On the one hand, Miss Cleo was an important figure when it came to re-igniting public interest in the paranormal in the early 1990s, around the same time I took up this line of work full time. She was entertaining, and frankly even a lot of people who would never call a Psychic Line loved watching her appearances on TV. She was inherently likeable and fun to watch.

On the other hand, there was that whole fraud thing, and the complex issue of “psychic lines”… but more on that later.

I’m breaking this article into two parts. Here in Part One, I’m going to be discussing the details of her birth chart, and Part Two will consist more of a rant about my experiences, for good and bad, working in the 900 industry. If you want some sugar, here it is. If you’d like a little venom with that, come back next time!

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beliefnet astrology matthew currie miss cleo

First and foremost, Cleo (born August 12 1962, 8:54 AM, Los Angeles CA) was a psychic, clairvoyant, and Tarot reader. Doing something like that properly for a living requires more mental toughness than you might expect. Dealing with people’s pain and frustration is one thing, but bonding with them over those issues on a one-on-one basis (even over the phone) requires a lot of emotional stability. Cleo had that going for her, with a strongly-aspected Moon in Capricorn, which received trines from Mercury, Uranus, and Pluto and a sextile each to Jupiter and to Neptune.

(Today’s Pro Tip: If you’re wondering whether or not a person is clairvoyant or intuitive, one of the things to look for is aspects from one or more of the Outer Planets to the Moon. Having three planets in her 12th House (by the Placidus House System) is another vote for psychic/intuitive ability.)

There are a lot of psychics out there, but Cleo was undoubtedly the most famous. She didn’t actually own or operate the line she worked for, but she became its public face. This was all fine and well until 1993, when the Uranus-Neptune conjunction spent the year quincunx her natal Midheaven (while trine her Ascendant — surely the astrological definition of “the best of times, the worst of times). To summarize: the Psychic Readers Network was sued in ten different States, and some of those States permit naming a spokesperson for a fraudulent company in a lawsuit, even if that spokesperson had nothing to do with the actual fraud in question. The lawsuit involved various charges including “psychics” working off of prepared scripts, and advertising “free readings” while making it essentially impossible to get one without paying. Thus, Youree Harris (AKA Miss Cleo, LaShawnda Williams, Corvette Mama, Elenore St. Julian, Desiree Canterlaw, Janet Snyder, Maria Delcampo, Christina Garcia, Cleomili Harris, and Youree Perris) was essentially ruined in the public’s eye.

For what it’s worth, though: no one who had a reading ever accused Cleo of being a fake herself (that I’ve found), and she weathered it all with classic Leo good humor.

NEXT TIME: My complicated personal relationship working for various “psychic hotlines”… and I won’t even charge you $2.99 a minute to hear about it! Click HERE for more…

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