Tea houses devoted to fortunetelling used to be quite common in the United States. Unfortunately, these days they're a dwindling breed. But now—goddess bless!—Portland has her very own, thanks to the enterprising Christy Desko, who opened Mademoiselle Noelle's Fortune Tea House two months ago. Christy has been a working psychic and practicing herbologist since the tender age of 15. Still, even psychics can take meandering career paths, and Desko spent much of the last decade in the usual Portland pursuits—bartending, selling vintage clothing, studying acupuncture and massage—before finding her niche at the darling little tea house on NE Fremont, just past Rose City Cemetery. There she offers quite a menu of services, including palmistry, scrying (crystal ball), and tarot and tea-leaf readings, alongside a more traditional menu of espresso, fabulous teas she blends herself, scrumptious pies and cakes, and locally-made Wingnut chocolates. She also sells books on the occult and stocks hoodoo oils from Portland-based Conjure Oils ("Whore of Babylon" apparently works so well she can't keep it on the shelves). Stop by for a free psychic reading at their official grand opening on Wednesday, October 31st.
What do your clients want to know about most?
Love. Women want to know if they're going to have babies. Those things are really easy for me to see for some reason. After love, it's job stuff.
So when you see people walking down the street, can you see what they're about?
Being psychic can scare a lot of people. I get things off of people, but it's not like I know everything. I'm what they call a clairvoyant. I'll see dead people next to you. I'll see energy and symbols around you. I can see places you've been, stuff like that.
Can you see stuff about me? Like right now?
I can see your aura and your energy. It's good! You're a kind person. Don't get freaked out.
Dating must be rough for you, if dudes think you can see right through them.
The more I get to know someone, the less I can see—especially when I'm dating, because then my hormones get involved.
Can you tell if someone's cheating on you?
I can see stuff like that, but not always. I've been deceived. Still, it has occurred to me that I'll never have a boyfriend again after all this psychic stuff. Guys are too intimidated.
Tell us about your school.
The White Owl School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is something I've always wanted to do. I'm hoping to open it in the darkest months of this year. People will bring up Harry Potter, and that's fine. I love Harry Potter. Magic is a real thing. There's a need in the world for more magic and more openness to magic.