October 19, 2009


New Age adherents channel psychic fair aura

5th annual event draws hundreds to mediums, healers, sellers of crystals and herbs, and artists

FairJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Spirit painter Sandra Fioramonti, left, makes a spiritual connection with Diana McClure, right, of Cortland Saturday prior to Fioramonti’s use of colors and symbols to compose a spirit portrait of McClure during a Psychic Fair Saturday and Sunday at the Ramada in Cortland.

Staff Reporter

Sandra Fioramonti of Liverpool uses an ancient Japanese system of feeling and healing to read people’s energy and create what is called a spirit painting.
People sat with her Saturday while she used her sensitivity to feel who they were, then painted their memories, personalities and experiences on canvases measuring 11 inches by 14 inches.
Fioramonti’s sessions occupied one corner of a large room at the Cortland Ramada, for the Fifth Annual Cortland Psychic Fair and Holistic Expo.
The event featured a range of vendors: psychics, mediums, healers, sellers of crystals and herbs, massage therapists, and artists portraying people’s auras and psychic energies.
“This helps people heal as they see themselves,” Fioramonti said.
As an example, she said three women sat for her, two crying as they were filled with emotion while the third sat with arms folded, skeptical. But by the session’s end, the skeptic was crying, as she said she saw how her toxic relationship with people around her affected them.
Some of Fioramonti’s paintings looked like elaborate sunsets or swirls of color, as she interpreted what she felt. Yellow meant joy, pink meant acceptance. Some were based on groups of people, what Fioramonti called a spirit painting party, resulting from reiki sessions lasting three hours.
One of her clients was Cortland resident Diana McClure, who makes fairy houses — small houses meant to attract beings that live everywhere but in a different realm of existence, so few people can see them.
The houses are made mostly from natural elements. McClure showed one Saturday that had a ceramic roof and a drywall base, with silk flowers, a small crystal globe, windows made of clear mica, window shutters made from bark.
That house was about 8 inches tall. McClure said they come in all sizes and she makes several at a time.
“I’m low-key about it, I sell them mostly at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market,” she said. “I was a potter for 25 years. I thought this area lended itself to making them, since it has such a different feel — the stones, mushrooms, moss.”
A psychic told her that she made the houses because fairies told her to.
The fair attracted more people this year, said director Lee Seaward, owner of Homer’s Two Hawks Gallery — about 600 on Saturday and Sunday.
The event also featured lectures about reiki healing, the spiritual world and UFOs.
David Bennett of Skaneateles spoke about his near-death experience years ago, when he almost drowned in the Pacific Ocean, and how it has changed his life.
Seaward said most vendors were the same as last year’s, with a couple of new ones. Many were from the Syracuse area.
She said there appeared to be more men this year among the people who came to the fair.
Brenda Silverhand, wife of Tuscarora seer Ted Silverhand, said more people were having readings with the psychics and mediums. She said people are worried about the economy and their futures, so they are looking for answers.
Some mediums said they had repeat clients from last year.
The fair also collected nonperishable food for the Cortland County Nutrition Program’s food pantry. Seaward said there were more donations than in previous years.


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