I started doing readings as a career at “The Cozy Tea Room” in Toronto in the mid 1960s. At the time, the type of work, the way it was done, the standards of the environment where it was done, was hardly recognized as a job let alone a career.
Regardless of the way it was done, the standards of our work, the old and faded environment we did it in or the level of respect we received, it provided the opportunity to do psychic readings for thousands of people from diverse backgrounds. Some days at “The Cozy” I would see up to 30 people.
I knew the Cozy Tea Room was only the beginning of my career. I was bright enough to recognize the incredible learning opportunity the Cozy Tea Room gave me.
I soaked it up like a sponge.
I have the work ethic of a plough horse and an inherited Scottish tenacity also known as stubbornness. I practiced my craft and honed my raw psychic ability. I developed a discipline, focus and most importantly I had the chance to do 100s of psychic readings a month.
I became known as the Hippy Reader. I was the youngest reader in the city, probably in the country and not yet 20 years old. People came from all around to have a reading from me. I was one of the Cozy Tea Rooms most popular readers (and one of biggest earners I might add)
It wasn’t all rainbows and roses at The Cozy. I was Mrs. Cox, the owner’s problem child too. There were many, good readers at The Cozy Tea, but few got out of the tea rooms.
The Cozy Tea Room’s business was to sell “The Telling of Fortunes”. However, there was a Witchcraft Act in the Canadian Criminal Code, Section 326, and in its essence it states “Fortune Telling” for money is against the law!
Mrs. Cox, by-passed the law by selling sandwiches, a couple of cookies, a pot of tea and the Fortune Telling was, as the sign on the wall said, “For Entertainment Only”.
Thinking back on it now, I laugh. Imagine the Cozy Tea Room being busted by the Vice Squad, taking us all out in hand cuffs for reading tea leaves. I can, in my minds eye, see Mrs. Cox, Pearl the waitress, and all the psychic readers in handcuffs along with the little old ladies who dropped by to get their “fortunes told” being charged with “found in”. What would they have taken as evidence I wonder? The used tea leaves?
When a customer placed their order for tea, they also picked their reader. Many a day, I came to work, and there was a line up of 10 or 12 people waiting to get a reading from the shoeless long haired “Hippy Reader” also known as Bob Milne.