Bude's 'Wise Old Crow'

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By dawnrw | Saturday, April 23, 2011, 08:13

Upon meeting ‘Wise Old Crow’ Sue Clarke (who is not old and is nothing like a crow incidentally) she almost

immediately mentioned that she had been born with six digits on her hands. “Ah,

like Anne Boleyn then”, said I. Sue then showed me the book she was reading: a

Philippa Gregory novel about no other than Anne Boleyn. Coincidence. Anne, of course, had stood accused of

witchcraft, among other things, in her time, and suffered for it; luckily for Sue we live in more

enlightened times. Alongside the six digits, Sue was also born with her

umbilical cord around her throat. Through good fortune, or through some sixth sense, her

mother – also psychic - refused to push and she survived that trauma.

Sue first realized she was psychic at 8, when she saw faces

and had "horrific dreams", but her life was relatively normal, and she started to

use her gift quite late on, starting out by doing readings for friends and

family. At 41, she moved from London to Glastonbury, intending to take a 'normal' job at a

timber merchant’s, but started doing professional readings instead; since, she

has never looked back. Now,  alongside

her shop in Bude, she reads in Glastonbury and Covent Garden (at  a well-known New Age shop called Buddha on a

Bicycle) and reads for Michele Knight which, despite my reservations about telephone clairvoyance, she feels is a very professional

outfit. With telephone readings costing £47.50 for half an hour  though, you are better nipping into Sue’s

Bude shop and getting a face to face one for £20.

Feeling blessed to have her psychic gift Sue uses many

esoteric arts to inform her readings. Rather than rely on any one method, she

uses clairvoyance to connect intuitively to her tarot cards, something she also

teaches others to do, but also incorporates astrology to unpeel the subconscious

layers of the issues people want unveiled. Like most people she first learned about

the tarot by reading the interpretations in a book, but quickly moved on, having soon realized that her

intuition was much, much better. She has since been guided by this confidence in her

own psychic qualities. Originally, Sue was going to set up shop in Tintagel

where she now lives, but felt strangely urged towards Bude. When she found her

premises in The Strand shopping arcade, she found the black cupboards she

wanted were already there and was drawn to the unit number - 3. "Somehow it just

felt right". I mentioned Pamela Colman-Smith, an illustrator who died in Bude, a

reference which Sue quickly picked up on as perhaps part of her natural attraction

to the place. “She was an Aquarian, like me” commented Sue. Pamela , nicknamed

Pixie, was born in 1878 and died  in 1951, designer of the Waite-Smith tarot card

deck, the most widely used deck in the English-speaking world.

Sue’s small, select shop, which has only been open for about a month, is an eclectic mixture of pagan,

New Age and esoteric items, but Sue realizes some people may hesitate to go in

because of the pentagrams on display which are associated with Wicca. Don't be afraid. The shop is light and

airy, rather than scary, creating a relaxed atmosphere which Sue prefers. She

thinks people have moved on and are more open-minded about new ideas and ways

of thinking, that Wicca is a religion, just like any others. In Glastonbury, during the Catholic Holy Week processions,

however, eggs have known to be thrown at the New Age shops, implying that people

like Sue are still a persecuted minority.  Sue though is a great believer in the powers

of attraction: “what you put in, you attract”, she says, and she generally

keeps her business quietly contained while being true to herself, selling items

which she likes and finds attractive. She is not out to change the world or to challenge traditional thinking. People who come to her are those drawn to New Age thinking, on the whole.  Her items range from incenses, hand crafted

jewellery and books, plus very pretty limited edition tarot bags, to a boline knife

which she keeps in a cupboard. This is a magical tool used in Wicca but primarily for

chopping nothing more sinister than herbs.

So, where did the ‘Wise Old Crow’ name come from? Well, they

were gifted it: one day Sue and her husband were standing at a bus stop in

Boscastle, listening to the cawing of the crows as they discussed shop names.

Her husband then found his inspiration. It's a good name, easily remembered. Apparently, crows are bringers of dreams

which I’m pleased about given we rescued one from our chimney recently. Forget

all this ‘one for sorrow’ idea, I’ll go with Sue’s version.

So, what does the future hold? Well, Sue read my cards and

shared some interesting pointers, picking up on some things which she could not

possibly have known (indeed, I chose to have the reading before our chat so I

didn’t give out too many clues). I will listen to the recording but

unfortunately, it is on an old-fashioned cassette tape so I need to find my

old-fashioned cassette player, which will be buried under a mound of stuff somewhere. That’s my only criticism as not everyone still

has this ancient technology– moving on to MP3 will be a positive step forward!  Sue feels that, more generally, we are moving

out of the age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius (gosh it seems years since I

first heard  that song – it was - as Hair

was produced in 1967) in 2012 which is all about revealing of truth. It will be

a disruptive time and there will be change, but Sue views change as a positive,

nothing to be fearful of.  She feels this

is more a shift in humanity’s thinking, than about major disasters, and that fear breeds negativity, so change is best embraced rather than feared. Perhaps

some of the major ideological shifts taking place around the world are a sign

of things to come in this search for truth.

As for the Strand's shopping arcade, Sue would love to see it

develop. She is currently nestled

between a tattooist and a shoe shop, with the odd blast of bass guitar (well,

when I was there) from music shop, Rhythm and Bude. There is also a hairdresser's, a cafe, and Ship's Stores.  There are still empty units

which could be filled by niche goods, feels Sue, which people would be prepared

to go out of their way for. She feels the town suffers a shortage of children’s

clothing shops and fashionable ladies’ underwear, for example. The units there

were designed as starter units so offer low rents on a monthly rolling contract, which are a low risk option to encourage new business. Sue believes she is the

only shop offering natural clairvoyance in Bude 

which, in itself, is something unique. It’s certainly an interesting place and one which hopefully the tourists will happen upon while on holiday.

Sue’s readings cost £20 for half an hour, £40 for an hour.

She will carry out general readings or focus on specific questions but feels

ethically bound not to answer questions on certain subjects like pregnancy

outcomes, issues in a court of law (where the information could be used in

evidence), or health issues which require specialist medical advice. Not only a

conscience but a sense of social responsibility makes Sue a caring clairvoyant who one feels is trustworthy, and genuine.  ‘Fortune

telling’ has always attracted charlatans, so the fact that Sue’s clientele

mainly comes from personal recommendation is in itself a good advertisement.



  • Profile image for Landline Telemarketing

    Thanks Dawn / Sue. I have enjoyed reading this review and wish you every success with Wise Old Crow. Dawn the (one for sorrow) is for Magpies, not crows ! If you solute the magpie and say good morning/ afternoon/evening etc, they are supposed to bring you luck. I look forward to visiting Sue's shop when next in Bude. Perhaps you can tell me when I will actualy live in Bude Sue ?

    By Landline Telemarketing at 10:05 on 27/02/12

  • Profile image for BudePeeps

    It seems that Wise Old Crow will be celebrating its first birthday next week so happy birthday in advance.......good to have some good business news!

    By BudePeeps at 08:30 on 27/02/12

  • Profile image for BudePeeps

    Good to see, from Sue's recent newsletter, that despite being tucked away on the Strand, business has been good during the summer. Don't forget to check out the shops in that neck of the woods, like Dolly Rockers for shoes and Rhythm and Bude for music/instruments..........

    By BudePeeps at 13:58 on 04/10/11

  • Profile image for Wise Old Crow

    Thanks dawn for the lovely review. I feel that most visit a clairvoyant on referrel, and I would advise this. We are no longer the "fortune tellers" gypsy, crossing palms with silver. We are normal people helping, giving guidance, and listening.
    I work as a clairvoyant 24/7, giving telephone readings, live in person, and email readings.By using the tarot, which is a tool for delving into the subconscious, I can look at ways of breaking negative patterns, help you to understand where you are going wrong, and help you to move forwards, whether this may be a relationship, career or financial issue. The only areas I am unable to advise on would be gender of unborn child, an issue currently in a court of law, or health (as I am not a GP) If you are looking for the real deal, when it comes to a clairvoyant, pop into Wise Old Crow, for the reading of your life!
    I would love to see you.
    Sue x

    By Wise Old Crow at 13:41 on 02/05/11

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