As a psychic, Kimberly Stewart knew her profession would put her at a disadvantage when she competed on New Zealand’s hottest reality competition, The Traitors NZ.
Hosted by Paul Henry, the show is the local version of the international phenomenon, which sees contestants, made up of a mixture of local celebrities and everyday people, involved in a murder-mystery. Those dubbed “Faithfuls” must figure out who among them are the “Traitors”, who are assigned to eliminate or “murder” the guests one by one.
Going into the game, Kimberly thought her powers would be an advantage, but she soon realised her ability to see into the future in a game filled with deception and backstabbing put a target on her back.
“I wish the result had been different,” the 38-year-old says of her early exit from the show. “I didn’t unpack my bags because I knew I was going to leave very quickly.
“The experience was tiring and mentally draining, but I had so much fun. It was nice to be amongst a group of people who were different but also very brilliant and intelligent.”
Kimberly is one of New Zealand’s busiest full-time psychics and tarot card readers, seeing around 20 clients a week.
She says the gift of clairvoyancy runs in both sides of her family. Her paternal great- grandmother, who was from the Cook Islands, was a professional fortune-teller and her maternal great- grandmother read tea leaves.
Kimberly always knew she possessed the gift as a child. As a teenager, she had her first psychic vision, foreseeing the death of one of her classmates, who died before his 20th birthday.
“I knew that I was different from other people,” she recalls. “It was in my teenage years when I discovered it, but it wasn’t until my twenties that I delved into my spiritual studies. I’ve always had a connection with nature, and could communicate with trees and animals. That’s when my natural abilities came through.”
Other family members also have the gift, including her mother and her 15-year-old son Lincoln. She says they are discouraged from expressing their abilities because of the stigma attached.
“It’s ingrained in society that this isn’t an acceptable line of work. My son doesn’t understand it yet but it’s there within him. I am here to help him through.”
To enhance her abilities, Kimberly connected with other psychics around the world and went on a journey of self-discovery. In the process, she learned the art of reading tarot cards.
Initially, Kimberly worked as a beauty therapist for 14 years and only did psychic readings part- time. But the demand for her talents grew and she quit her job six years ago to focus on being a clairvoyant.
“I fell into this as a career. But once I started it, I ended up loving my job,” she explains.
“People need direction because they become indecisive and get stuck in their heads. That’s why they come to me, so they can get some clarity in their lives.”
Certain topics come in waves. For instance, before the pandemic, there were lots of questions around love. During the pandemic, people would ask about their family. Now, it’s people asking about change such as moving home or overseas.
“You don’t want to go around hurting people,” explains Kimberly, who lives in Auckland. “Giving a reading without someone asking for it is unethical.”
She has also studied reincarnation, learning how to connect with people’s past lives.
“I love history,” she tells. “I see a lot of historical events and different places that people have been in. Discovering who we have been in our past lives helps unlock talents we have in this life that we haven’t tapped into. It also helps to address people’s fears and heal their phobias.”
The physical act of exploring someone’s past life is similar to how Kimberly uses her psychic abilities.
“I go into a deep meditation and what will come to me is imagery. I might see a pair of shoes or a landscape in front of me, then I can see the story build from there. It’s like watching a movie.”
In Kimberly’s own past lives, she says she was once an aristocratic woman in ancient Rome and that this, as well as other past lives, explain, “where I get my empathy from”.
But these unique skills come with a great responsibility, Kimberly shares.
“It’s important that I cleanse and clear my energy regularly, and get to a level where my job is not affecting my daily life. Being outside and close to nature, along with meditation and yoga, helps me.”
As for the people who don’t believe in what she does, Kimberly says she embraces them. “I don’t mind sceptics,” she tells. “I encourage them to experience an accurate reading first before they can believe in it.”
The Traitors NZ screens Mondays and Tuesday at 7.30pm on Three and streams on ThreeNow.