Healing wisdom and traditions expand outside the confines of scientific knowledge. With her training in Western medicine, Alicia Blando, M.D., shares her journey in exploring the divination arts to find meaning in her personal life and service to her patients. The physician was a young trainee in New York during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Blando, who emigrated as a child with her family from the Philippines, discusses her Catholic upbringing and singular focus on academic success in telling the story of using astrology to make sense of one’s past and predicting life circumstances. In addition to astrology, Blando also explored the practices of shamanism, numerology, psychic reading, tarot reading, channeling psychic energies, palmistry, and more.

This memoir is enlightening for anyone curious about a medical doctor’s inquiry about divination practices. Blando relays her triumphs and challenges in clinical care, meaningful serendipitous interactions, and life-changing friendships. In investigating different types of knowledge, Blando applies a rational approach to understanding the psychic or medium’s intuitive skills and offers tangible concepts and rules related to astrology. As a fellow Filipino-American, I appreciated Blando’s candid musings about our shared cultural backgrounds, particularly her discussion about unyielding gender expectations. Her story proves that one can cultivate varied interests while maintaining the integrity of one’s life purpose.