On May 25, 2008, Wendy Hobsbawn/Atham Z entered into her final rest. She slipped away peacefully in her sleep. It was her 58th birthday and the first day of Mercury Retrograde. It all seems somehow ironically appropriate for a true Gemini and an excellent astrologer. I hope she woke up whole and in her new life as if she had woken from good night's sleep.
Wendy was a long time friend and my psychic compatriot. We participated in many events together over the years as well as being documented by Cogeco 22 during one of our events in the town of Renfrew. The young producer and cameraman put together a wonderful half an hour segment of us. It is something that we both treasured and now means even more to me. It is an important part of our legacy.
Wendy lived in a unique cottage at Lake Dore, just outside of Renfrew and Eganville, Ontario. It had been left to her by her grandfather and she raised her two precious sons there. There were 83 steps down to get to the cottage which was built on top of a huge rock outcropping overlooking the lake. It was beautiful there, peaceful, full of wildlife and the gentle lapping of the water on the rocks was soothing. Winters could be challenging in such a rural location with only a rough cottage road into her home. She was well taken care of by a good man with a snowplow and her sons did a lot of shovelling.
Wendy had been seriously injured by a hit and run driver in her younger days and her body was damaged permanently from the effects of this accident. She gave birth to her second child after this accident, which indicates the measure of her personal strength, determination and perseverance. She was a lifelong asthmatic which added another burden to her health problems. She wrote compellingly of her near death experience in an article that is contained in this memorial issue. This experience was the beginning of the end, her health continued to decline, she required homecare and good friends to stay in her home. She never lost the strength of her great mind, the courage of her lion heart, her outstanding sense of humour or the love of her children. The battle she faced in the end to see her youngest child in a safe place was cruel and unfair to her devotion as a mother and as an advocate against women abused by their partners.
Wendy was also a wonderful cook. She loved to make preserves and always had a well stocked freezer. She used raisins in her Shepherd 's pie, shared her wonderful recipe for Pineapple Beets with me (which is now a total family favourite), and made excellent Red Pepper Jelly which she loved with cream cheese on a cracker. She loved a bit of a nip in her Tim Horton's coffee. She abhored the colour pink which she blamed on her mother's attempts to feminize her. Wendy was an excellent artist as well and has left us a small legacy of her work. I only have small pictures of them and do not know where her art will end up. I had taken pictures of all her work for her to use on her website but I don't have prints or negatives. I hope one of her sons will see the value in her creative expression and that they will be displayed with love and pride.
Wendy was, under her pseudonym Atham Z, one of the first psychics on the internet – she loved technology. When she first put her website online there were only 20 other readers who had done the same. Now everyone is a psychic. We met back in 1993 when we both worked on the Psychic Readers Network, a psychic line which had a Canadian component. Our friendship was instant and our respect for each others work was always apparent. It was good work for both of us. We both lived in the country with small children, no man and in need of work we could do from home. It was a proving ground that made us both razor sharp in our abilities and it is work we both missed when the line was shutdown without notice after 3 years by the American owners.
Wendy loved jokes and I will forever miss her daily emails sharing the latest good joke with me. Humour is the greatest healer out there. She was a woman of strong opinions and not afraid to voice them. She was a prolific writer and has left us a legacy of writing into many aspects of the divinatory and spiritual world from her unique, informative and well researched perspective. Her death has shaken me deeply and has had me pondering the issue of inheritance, legacy, how we will be remembered in the future and who will be the preservers of that legacy.
I do not know what are the right words to honour my friend. She walked through dark valleys with me and I with her. We agreed, we disagreed, we worked it out and we genuinely shared a great friendship and an excellent working relationship. I feel as if I have lost my right arm and a piece of my heart. A bright light has gone out of my world and in the greater world of tarot and psychic professionals. She conducted herself in her work, her writing and her life with impeccable strength and integrity. I do not know how to say goodbye to Wendy, so I will just say until the next time we meet again I'll be thinking of you.
Atham-Z's booklet "How to Develop Your Psychic Skills - for the Novice and the Professional" is still available by clicking here.