When Ellen Brian talks, she looks you in the eye.

She speaks in well-constructed sentences and, when she finds something funny, she laughs naturally.

Brian strikes those who meet her as down-to-earth. With this in mind, some might be surprised to discover what she does for a living.

Her business, Little Star Astrological Services, specializes in Tarot Card readings and astrological forecasting.

Right off the bat, this local entrepreneur wants to be clear about one thing: she’s no more psychic than anyone else. “I think we’re all a little bit psychic,” she says. “We all have equal abilities, it’s just how we choose to use them.”

As such, Brian approaches her trade with a practical attitude: “Tarot Cards are a tool, just like a hammer is a tool.”

The implication is that, much like anyone can swing a hammer, anyone can read Tarot Cards .. and the more you practise, the better you get.

And, indeed, Brian has practised.

“I started out reading for friends and family. I’ve been reading Tarot Cards for 27 years, and 16 years professionally.”

It’s Brian’s willingness to look at things from a variety of perspectives that originally attracted her to this line of work: “It’s the fascination of another way of looking at things. I like the idea that a situation can be explained in more than one manner.”

This is how a basic Tarot Card reading works: “First of all,” says Brian, “you need to have an openness and willingness to hear what is said.”

Once the openness is achieved, the subject then shuffles the cards while concentrating on the current state of their life. In this manner, the subject shuffles themselves into the deck. Then, the deck is cut into three stacks and the top card is flipped over.

One card represents the past, one the present, one the future. The cards have vaguely occult-like drawings on them, and Brian interprets their meaning as they pertain to the subject’s life.

“It’s a conduit for your inner self to talk,” she says. In other words, what the cards reveal are not new truths, but truths that one already knows but has been unable to confront head on.

According to Brian, the whole experience is “helpful, healing and spiritual.”

Predictably, such an enterprise attracts skeptics. But Brian gets neither flustered nor defensive when confronted with questions about these naysayers. Rather, she shrugs and smiles, “Trust your instincts, if you don’t like it, don’t do it.”

The interesting thing about the Yukon is that there are either fewer skeptics, or the skeptics we have are less likely to foam at the mouth.

“It’s always a worry that when people discover this aspect of me, they will judge me or look at me differently, but that hasn’t happened up here,” says Brian. “People (from the Yukon) are very open-minded about (my profession).”

The success of her career seems to bear this fact out: “I was expecting my business to last three, maybe six months.” That was back in 1994.

Since then, Brian has thoroughly enjoyed the ride. “It’s been a great pleasure connecting with people on a spiritual level,” she says.

Information is available at 667-6030 or ellenbrian@hotmail.com.